Caldicot RFC | 2nd Team 44 - 14 Penallta RFC | 2nd Team

Match Report
20 August 2014 / Team News

Caldicot Reveal Strength In Depth.

A Convincing Victory Over Penallta 2nd XV


With 9 different starters taking the field against a visiting Penallta 2nd XV, compared to the starting XV for last week’s opening pre-season victory, Head Coach Jason Elliott remained true to his word that everyone available from the senior squad, would get game time in the pre-season friendlies. The changes made no difference to the result, Caldicot running out convincing 44 – 14 winners, the well-deserved margin of victory reflecting their dominance both in terms of fitness and in particular the scrum where Caldicot were superior throughout.

A sluggish start saw weak fringe defence by Caldicot allow the spritely Penallta scrum half in for an excellent individual score, side stepping his way under the posts for a converted try within 10 minutes. The home side then started to gain ascendency through an increasingly dominant scrum, with loose-head and on field captain, Bradley Bates leading the way. Territory gained from the subsequent penalties conceded by Penallta for collapsing, resulted in a 5 metre scrum and an unconverted pushover try for Caldicot's No. 8 Joel Price.

Scrum dominance continued to generate penalties and field position for Caldicot but knock-ons and wayward kicking repeatedly relieved pressure on Penallta. A scrappy period dominated by the referees whistle but typified by the tackling of Caldicot’s all action hooker Scott Baker, eventually yielded Caldicot’s second push-over try by replacement No.8 Richard Shuck, converted by scrum half Matthew Burton.

A bullocking 20 metre break by tight-head Dan Antell, after 25 minutes, sucked in the opposition, allowing centre Neil Evans to profit with a smartly taken try, following some crisp handling via a number of phases, Matthew Burton narrowly failing to covert. The first half ended 17-14 after the quick feet of Penallta’s standout scrum half took him through some slack tackling and under the posts for his second try of the game.

Caldicot made 8 changes for the second half but it only served to increase their dominance. Sustained pressure saw the home side camped in the opposition 22 which eventually resulted in a well worked, unconverted try for outside half Rhys Mellens, the forwards again the creators after a number of disciplined driving mauls.

The Caldicot pack were beginning to take control and a smart line out steal at the tail by uncompromising blind-side Karl Lewis led to a superb break by replacement Hooker Marc Jenkins, linking neatly with fellow front rower Bates to set up lightning quick ruck ball, allowing the backline to put wing Ben Price one-on-one with his opposite number which he took full advantage of, rounding his man for a lovely team try in the corner.

Penallta then enjoyed a brief period of pressure, relieved by a strong run from flanker Lewis, supported by Jenkins, showing up well in the loose in a dynamic display by the hooker, with only a knock-on preventing a try. A quick tap by Captain and open-side Joe Cullimore followed by a dummy and break by strong running centre Sion Lewis, set up a 5 metre scrum from which No.8 Joel Price scored his second pushover try.

With minutes remaining, second row Dom Owen got in on the act with a barnstorming run into the opposition 22, multiple phases resulting in a second try for outside half Mellens. There was still time for one more try, made by the Lewis boys, instigated by another strong bust by centre Sion and a brutally effective ruck clearance by blind-side Karl, generating quick ball, spun wide for Captain Cullimore, to score in the corner.

Head Coach Jason Elliot expressed pride in the team’s performance and noted the welcome headache he now faced in terms of selection for the final pre-season game, a much sterner test in the form of Bedlinog 1st XV, at home on August 30th, 2.30pm k.o. Citing the position of hooker as a great example of the challenge he now faces, Elliott commented on the fact he’d just seen two excellent performances from Scott Baker and Marc Jenkins following on from the match winning performance of Martyn Beddows in last week’s game.

Club Secretary Keith Mellens also expressed pride in an "excellent performance" with the "players being a credit to the team management and coaches". "Everyone at the club is very proud of the boys and the hard work and commitment shown throughout pre-season and we wish them the best of luck versus Bedlinog", he said.

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