09 October 2017 / Club News

St Josephs v West Mon Lions

Effort not reflected in scoreline..

The 2nd XV travelled to Duffryn, Newport to play their 2nd league and 3rd game of the season against a skilled and very well drilled St. Joseph’s RFC who have re-formed and need to complete 16 matches this season to go into the WRU National Leagues next season (where if they play like this will be a real force). 

The Lions squad contained 5 debutants and 5 who were playing only their 2nd game of senior rugby and this difference in experience was to tell come the last whistle.

The game kicked off and for the first 10-15 mins the Lions were the better team, out scrummaging their opponents with the front row of Matt James, Ryan Clark and Adam Rawlings destroying their scrum so much so that St. Josephs went uncontested after 4 scrums (as the home side did on the last occasion we played them).

The pack were also being very aggressive at the breakdown and with some big ball carrying by debutant flanker Richard Prosser and second row Tom Guest they were keeping the defence working hard.  The Lions also continuously  frustrated St. Josephs with flanker Deri ‘Shooter’ Simons absolutely everywhere and tackling everything that came near him.

Fly half Tom Jarvis kept the home side pinned back with some excellent tactical kicking and it was only due to a mix up in midfield that gifted St. Josephs their first converted try, but the Lions kept plugging away for the remainder of the half and after a blindside snipe by scrum half Jamie Simmonds and a nice run by winger Jason Morgan, St. Josephs conceded a penalty to allow Tom Jarvis to reduce the deficit just before half time.                                                                                                                                                                 At The The second  period saw the Lions bring on all the subs on to give everyone at least half a game (as the ethos of our  2nd team is to give players of all abilities game time) and with 2 more of the debutants in centre Mike Matthews and scrum half Wesley Evans going on and a welcome return to action for flanker Silent Dave Hopkins after a season out, the future of the 2nd XV certainly looks promising.

The Lions continued to battle away throughout the second half but a few wrong options allowed St. Josephs to build phases and good passages to score a few more tries and this could have been higher but for the tackling of fullback Adam ‘Chewy’ Baldwin who put them on the deck time and time again.

The Lions did start to gel and put some phases together themselves, with young Conor Price also showing his blistering pace at 13 when normally a winger, and hooker Paul Barry showing his open play awareness with two cracking breaks.  The Lions did get close to the opposition line on a number occasions but fairplay to St. Josephs whose defence was excellent both around the ruck area and out wide, but the a pleasing aspect was the Lions battled right to the final whistle.                                                                                                                                                                          Captain Phil Simmonds was pleased with the effort put in by all the players and a pleasing compliment by St Josephs was that they thought we had a load of first team players playing.

The potential is also evident with the team and if a few more could train then this team could go from strength to strength, especially as there was 21 players used and at least another 10 unavailable.

C'mon West/Dewch ymlaen West

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