Wednesday 7th March 2018.
Gowerton year 11: 34 Penyrheol year 11: 7The Gowerton year 11 team:
Back from left: Rhys Flower, Mabon Kaniewski, Olly Bruce, Connor Williams, Charlie Williams, Jacob Rees, Keiron Thomas, Charlie Smith, Cameron Davies, Alex Jones.
Front from left: Kobe Bowen, Jac Simons, Matthew Newcombe, Joel Matuschke (capt), Jacob Turatto, Ethan Hall, Dan Warne, Josh Thomas.
Gowerton year 11 hosted neighbours Penyrheol in the group stage of the Swansea schools’ Cup. The format this year has changed with the initial games organised on a group basis-positions in the group then determine whether schools go into the cup, plate or bowl competitions.
Both Gowerton and Penyrheol were undefeated coming into the final group game, so both were guaranteed a cup semi-final berth and the game would determine who would make progress as group winners.
With the Ospreys under 16s rearranging a fixture for the same day, it meant that the hosts took the field without six players who were representing the region. The loss of a number of key players for them meant it provided an opportunity for others in the squad to press their claim for a starting position.
Despite the heavy rain of earlier in the week, the surface of the Gowerton RFC pitch was in excellent condition and with WRU professional referee Ben Whitehouse in charge, the scene was set for an excellent contest.
The hosts kicked off playing into the breeze, but applied the early pressure, with lock Mabon Kaniewski and prop Cameron Davies both carrying strongly. However, Penyrheol’s defence was resolute and initially impossible to breach. Eventually the pressure told and following a series of ruck phases the ball was moved wide. Full back Matthew Newcombe made ground on one wing, and when tackled, wing Olly Bruce recycled possession allowing captain and scrum half Joel Matuschke to spread the ball back across the field allowing wing Dan Warne to cross in the corner.
The hosts continued to dominate territory and with lock Connor Williams, hooker and man of the match Jac Simons and No. 8 Jacob Rees all running powerfully they doubled their advantage in the 13th minute when quick thinking by captain Matuschke saw him tap a penalty quickly and transfer to prop Ethan Hall, he charged deep into the 22 and passed to hooker Simons, he was halted just short, but prop Cameron Davies burrowed over from close range.
There were no additions to the score before the break and at half time Gowerton led by 10 points.
In the second period Gowerton had the advantage of the wind but fly half Charlie Smith was determined to get his backline moving. Centres Jacob Turatto and Charlie Williams probed for gaps but Penyrheol’s midfield defence was unyielding and when they turned the ball over in a tackle they kicked down field into the Gowerton 22, full back Newcombe gathered and his options looked limited, however he backed his searing pace and raced down the touchline beating a couple of despairing cover tackles before scoring in the corner.
Gowerton were now playing with confidence and the persistent hard work in the loose of flankers Josh Thomas and Alex Jones ensured a regular supply of possession and when they were awarded a free kick it was again taken quickly and a nice offload allowed fly half Smith to dot down beneath the posts. A fifth score arrived when excellent pressure by centre Kobe Bowen forced a hasty clearance kick that was well fielded by wing Keiron Thomas he made ground before feeding flanker Jones who accelerated through a gap on the 10m line to score a try converted by scrum half Matuschke.
Penyrheol played with determination throughout and were justly rewarded with a try of their own when strong running centre Danny Devey crossed under the posts for a try converted by fly half Joe Burder.
However, the hosts had the final say when good work in the loose by hooker Rhys Flower allowed impressive lock Williams to charge up field, he found wing Dan Warne who powered over for his second try, Jac Simons added the extras and at full time Gowerton had achieved a convincing victory 34-5.
Gowerton now play Olchfa at home in the semi-final.
Match report: Mr Lewis
Gowerton year 7: 5 Penyrheol year 11: 34
Year 7’s warmed up for their Bowl semi-final with a tough test against Penyrheol who were the much bigger outfit. Captain for the day was Tristan John who has impressed in previous encounters with his leadership qualities.
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