1st XV out, but not defeated.
Coleg Sir Gar IIs: 13 Gowerton 1st XV: 13
Millennium Stadium hopes dashed but great performance leaves pride intact.
Gowerton’s tactic was to surround the ball.
Gowerton 1st XV travelled to Coleg Sir Gar in the quarter finals of the Welsh schools’ Cup and produced their best performance of the season but after 70 minutes of committed rugby from both sides the teams still couldn’t be separated on the score board. The hosts went through to the next round on try count.
At kick off, it was clear that the hosts had a significant physical advantage, particularly at forward and the College were immediately into their stride with hooker Sion Jones and the back row of Steffan Taffatsauffer, Dan Gallwey, and Jordan Evans all carrying strongly.
It was clear that the hosts had a significant physical advantage at kick off.
Gowerton’s defence was severely tested but the defensive work of wing Rhodri Tyrrell, centre Steffan Tyrrell, lock Sam Clark, flankers Lloyd Dudley-Jones and Kieryn Lewis and No.8 Marcus Besley was unflinching and the hosts were unable to cross the try line. However they were on the board in the 8th minute when Gowerton were penalised for offside and fly half Leon Randell stepped up to convert from 30 metres.
Sir Gar continued to monopolise possession and territory and with Gowerton restricted to defensive kicking the hosts were able to maintain the pressure with fly half Randell and full back Tom Neale both looking dangerous with ball in hand. In the 21st minute, the hosts’ pressure eventually told and wing Gwion Jones squeezed over in the corner.
Man of the match Phil Jones looks for a gap.
This score only served to invigorate Gowerton and with half backs Milo Fleming and Phil Jones proving increasingly influential they pressed for a score. A scything break by scrum half Fleming took him deep into the hosts’ 22. Sir Gar were penalised at the ensuing ruck, Gowerton spurned the kick at goal and kicked to the corner. The decision was vindicated when a well organised catch and drive led to prop Tom Northey driving over. Fly half Jones added the conversion from the touchline.
On the stroke of half time, Gowerton looked to have taken the lead when a cross kick found fly half Jones who crossed only to be adjudged offside.
In the second period, the hosts stretched their lead immediately with an impressive catch and drive of their own that saw No.8 Evans score.
Gowerton now enjoyed their best spell of the game with man of the match fly half Jones impressing with his strength and game management. Flanker Lewis was imperious at the lineout and with prop Northey and No.8 Besley both carrying strongly. Gowerton drew level with two penalties from Jones in the 41st and 60th minutes.
In the final 10 minutes, both teams pressed for a winning score but to no avail as both defences held firm and Sir Gar’s two tries saw them progress to the semi final where they will play Strade school at Parc Y Scarlets.
Photographs: Joel Young
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