Burry Port Rugby News

It was back to league action for Burry Port with their first game of the new year away to a strong Penybanc side. With a depleted squad through injury all the pundits had predicted a comfortable home win, however the young Burry Port team had not read the script. It was a bruising encounter for a young Burry Port squad but the opening exchanges were dominated by Burry Port with Penybanc unable to cope with the pace of the game. Camped inside the Penybanc 22 for much of the first half Burry Port created a number of try scoring chances but a desperate Penybanc defence kept them out. The territorial pressure and dominance at the line out from Oliver Dunleavy resulted in good field position and the ref lost patience with repeated infringements to award Burry Port a number of penalties.

Scrum Half Ben Williams slotted over two penalties before Penybanc were able to use their big pack and wind advantage to go upfield. A number of scrums close to the Burry Port line provided an opportunity for Penybanc scrum half to score an unconverted try. Back came Burry Port putting together a fine passing display with Declan Knox making a bust up field and with quick recycled ball an intelligent kick ahead by Williams resulted in a foot race to the line with 18 year old debutant Daniel Dawkins claiming he had touched down but it was not awarded by the referee. Half time Penybanc 5-6 Burry Port.

Burry Port Rugby Club

The second half was equally as entertaining as the first with both teams demonstrating high skill levels in tricky conditions. With Burry Port dominating the line out, in contract it was the home team who took control of the scrum and they used their advantage to set up a few driving scrums, and it was this tactic that resulted in the ref awarding a controversial penalty try to bring the score to 12-6. In fairness the ref had a good game although there was a 20 minute period when many marginal decisions were made in favour of the home team and this proved to be a frustrating time when Burry Port were down to 14 players with a sin bin for offside with two clear incidents of foul play, a stamp and a trip, only resulted in penalties for Burry Port. During this period Penybanc scored another converted try bringing the score to 19-6.

Despite the protestations of the travelling supporters, it is to their credit that the Burry Port team, who are all products of their junior section, stuck to their task and dominated the latter stages of the game. Wave after wave of attacks saw Dai Booth, Duane Evans and Owen Thomas come within a whisker of the line and it was a thrilling final 20 minutes. A blatant infringement stopped a certain try and the ref finally gave a yellow card to the home team, and with good ball retention Burry Port involved backs and forwards to work an overlap for Nathan Toft to cross for a try in the corner to make the score 19-11 with 10 minutes to go. Penybanc were also playing expansive rugby and it was thrilling stuff for the supporters of each team and solid defence from Lee Williams resulted in many turn-overs for Burry Port in the tackle area. With good field position and two exhausted teams, Burry Port applied pressure and came close again with Owen Thomas cutting inside and with him charging towards the posts he took a high tackle close to the line but the move ground to a halt with the ref eventually blowing up for full time.

Burry Port Coach Darren Daniel said “I was proud of the display and close games like these will help the boys improved tactical awareness and confidence in their abilities going forward.  We are a club that invests time and energy in nurturing talent from the Under 7’s team up to senior rugby and can be proud of that fact.” Club captain Dan Etteridge said “We hung in there and came back strongly at the end and were unlucky not to win. The boys were pleased with their performance but gutted as we were so close to beating a team who are near the top of the division. There is plenty more to come from this squad and we are looking to prepare for the visit of Trimsaran in a local derby next weekend.”

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