Caernarfon RFC | Youth Team Under 18 10 - 24 Pwllheli RFC | Youth Team Under 18
Reece Thomas
Try 1
Jack Davies
Try 1

Match Report
28 January 2019 / Team News

Caernarfon vs Pwllheli (26/01/2019)

Caernarfon Youth 10 - 24 Pwllheli Youth

After the success of the previous weeks encounter with Penallta it was back to Premiersahip action on Saturday with a visit from local rivals Pwllheli. Whilst the week before, Caernarfon had had the luxury of a pool of 30 players it appeared that, for this fixture, they were the victims of their own success with seven players having been called up for Regional Age Grade duties with RGC. This, coupled with a number of player being unavailable, left Caernarfon only able to field a squad of nineteen players. This was to prove significant as they lost their unbeaten record by 24 points to 10.

In playing conditions better suited to our feathered friends the kick-off saw an early penalty award to Pwllheli within 5 metres of the home sides try line, their forwards quick to capitalise and an early try under the posts. The conversion attempt was successful.

Play resumed with Pwllheli again in the ascendency and it was only some excellent tackling that was to prevent the red and greens from extending their lead. Looking to gain a foothold in the game, an ensuing penalty award gave the home side the chance to clear their lines and advance up the park. With play settling down in the middle of the pitch a series of handling errors by the Cofis saw the ball being gifted to the opposition and it was again only stalwart tackling, in particular by prop Jordan Jones, that contained them in their own half. A turnover eventually gave a scrum to the young Cofis and, for the first time in the game saw a series of successful passes along their backline, culminating in a perfectly timed pass to u16 debutant Reece Thomas Thompson, his searing run out-stripping the defence to open his sides account near the corner flag. 

With the conversion attempt going awry play resumed with the visitors again encamped in Cofi territory and saw the home side rely more and more on stand-off Ifan Gwynn’s long up-field kicks to relieve the continuing pressure. Unfortunately for the home side these kicks inevitably found the grateful hands of a Pwllheli player with poor tackling allowing them to carry back at the home side, thus continuing the ceaseless pressure on the home sides tryline. With another try to Pwllheli looking inevitable it was again down to Gwynn to relieve the pressure, on this occasion his long kick ultimately resulting in a penalty within metres of the visitors try line. An ensuing scrum, rather than providing the launch pad for success, saw the easiest of turnovers to the visitors and a long punt downfield bring proceedings in the first half to a head. 

With just a two point deficit and playing with the slope it would have been hoped that the home side could reverse the misfortunes of the first half. However, with play at the start of the second half mirroring that of the first it was again a series of forward drives near the home sides try line that saw them extend their lead to seven points.

Play resumed and saw Caernarfon enter their best period of the game with substantial pressure on the visitors try line. Pwllheli, however, as had been the case for most of the game, were able to regain possession with relative ease with the predictable defensive field kick repeatedly relieving the pressure. It was on one such clearance that the home sides found themselves on the attack however a needless kick ahead dropped neatly into the hands of the covering full back allowing him to join the line, draw in the Cofi defence and provide the overlap for an easy score under the posts.

The conversion attempt was, on this occasion successful, and with less than ten minutes remaining seemed to have settled proceedings. These thoughts were compounded when, from the kick off play advanced deep into the Cofi half, where, following some questionable defensive kicks and poor decision making, the visitors were able to add to their tally - an unconverted try near the corner flag.

Back again came Pwllheli, however, with barely moments left on the clock a rare penalty to the home side was quickly taken, a series of swift passes finding the ball in the hands of winger Thomas Thompson. With the home side stretched the young winger was able to draw the final man and deliver the perfect pass to centre Jack Davies, allowing him the formality of providing the final seven points of the day, the referee duly bringing an end to the game and a deserved 24 – 10 victory to Pwllheli RFC . 

Whilst Caernarfon will reflect that under different circumstances this was a game they could have won, a poor performance by the home saw Pwllheli excel in all areas, from their ball handling, their kicking, decision making, all compounded by, in general, their desire to win the game. If Caernarfon are to take anything from the game it will the reward of seeing their u16 player, Reece Thomas Thompson  stepping up to play with their senior peers. 

With Caernarfon taking a break form league action next week the coaches will be hoping for a much better performance when they welcome Newtown RFC to the Morfa in the first round of the North Wales Cup, Kick-off 12:30pm.


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