Gowerton U16s: 12 Peninsula U16s: 7
A battle scared Gowerton team took the field, the injury list was extensive. Robyn Williams was eliminated from selection due to a head injury, Will Steadman was visiting the doctors, Will Thomas ruled out with a contusion on his upper arm. Alfie Woodcock, Kian Webb, Liam Butler and Darragh Cahill were all selected on the bench for various ailments. Despite this Gowerton were still able to field a team with some strength and Coach Cullen once again elected to rotate the squad.
The weather was blustery although dry after a heavy soaking earlier in the day, this affected the quality of the game. The first few phases were fiercely contested and it was clear to see that although the size of the opposition was well matched the physicality would be similar to the two previous games. Billy Davies on the wing was a victim of this after a storming run he was bundeed into touch with some force, First Aid supremo, Peter Cort was ready to pounce, however Billy shook off the impact and ran into position.
In the forwards, front row Aiono, Sanghera and Richards were once again up to the challenge, they were impressively supported by second rows Stagg and Parry. Sangheri left the field early on with a nasty tackle that required a reshuffle of the team and uncontested scrums. This benefited the Gowerton team and allowed them to gain some parity in play. This lead to Gowerton dominating territory and camping in the opposition 22 for long period in the first half. Despite this the score at half-time was 0-0. Gowerton backline were frustrated and the possession they had benefited from had not been used well. The message at the half was clear – play rugby – avoid contact. The Gowerton back three looked competent in attack and defence, Jack Thomas and Billy Davies on the wings and young Ben Lewis at fullback applied themselves well and it was felt if they were to get more possession then Gowerton would be triumphant.
Gowerton determined for the win pressed hard against the opposition and forced errors, this resulted in some territory. A kick ahead by Thomas chased well by Cort lead to a scrum five to Gowerton. From this Caradog (playing pinball) eventually found his way over the line. Thomas added the conversion. 0-7. Peninsula came back with ferocity – pressurising Gowerton deep in their own half, from lineout to backline – this resulted in a charge down and a solo try 7-7. with 12 minutes to go.
From the next facets of play Coach Cullen plan was adopted, from first phase that went wide right and then left resulted in a great team try, where numerous players were in possession. Joe Hawkins-Cole returning from injury went over in the corner. The Gowerton team were ecstatic, the conversion was wide and with 7 minutes remaining there was still much to do.
The closing stages of the game saw the pressure mount on Gowerton, Peninsula were camped in the Gowerton 22. Only the strong defence kept them out. There were a selection of big hard hits and possession steals during these later stages. Gladly the Gowerton resolved stood firm.
Final Score 7-12.
Forward of the Match was awarded to Henry Aiono – for his management of the contact, kick lineout option and steal of possession at crucial times.
Back of the match was awarded to Taylor John who looked dangerous throughout and offered a steady resolve when in possession.
Gowerton U16s look forward to their final fixture v Mater Maria and are hoping for a 75% win record for the tour and 100% against teams their own age.
Mr W Thomas
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