Chepstow RFC | Under 15s 19 - 24 Penallta RFC | Under 15s

Match Report
05 October 2017 / Team News

Match Report u15s v Penallta

A test of the squads strength and versatility lay ahead with a tough fixture against a Penallta team that have experienced a great deal of success in recent years.

Missing several players the forwards and backs worked hard to rearrange themselves in the warm up and lessen the impact. The warm up went well. Forwards executing set piece calls and the backs moving the ball at pace before realigning.

In the final team talk players spoke about defensive line speed and winning collisions. As the game began, the Chepstow team played with real accuracy and pace. The ball was quickly recycled and moved into the wide channels to stretch the Penallta defence. Chepstow committed bodies to the breakdown ensuring that the halfbacks, Travis and Ben could service the outside backs. Will ran aggressive lines and Steven supported well and offloaded to Ieuan and Owen. The Penallta defence held firm with some excellent cover defence keeping us out.

Maintaining possession and threatening the defence around the breakdown and out wide, Penallta gave away a string of penalties to keep Chepstow at bay.
From one penalty the ball was moved wide and a clever off load from contact put Will into space. He broke the first line of defence and outpaced the cover defence to score near the posts. Josh converted and Chepstow took a very deserved 7-0 lead.

The following passages in play saw Chepstow attack with pace and accuracy. Excellent set piece work saw possession maintained and the ball moved out wide. A combination of excellent defence from Penallta and the final pass going to ground meaning that the lead was not stretched. 
The forwards were working tirelessly as a unit, hitting ruck after ruck and carrying the ball forward. Several close attacks took Chepstow deep into Penallta territory and quick ruck ball was spread wide. The Ball reached Ieuan in a yard of space and a good finish saw Chepstow take a 12-0 lead.

Penallta, although two tries down had shown they were a good team. They were able to slow down our ruck ball and led their defence with impressive line speed and aggressive tackling. Because of this they were able to turn over ball effectively and counter attack our disorganised defence. During a phase of broken play they reacted quicker to a loose ball to score their first try. The conversion meant the score was 12-7.

The fast pace that Chepstow had set early on meant that fatigue was setting in and our defensive shape was being lost. Inability to react and retreat meant that we were being caught offside and missing tackles.
A penalty conceded at close range was taken quickly and moved to the left. Chepstow again failed to apply line speed in defence and Penallta scored out wide to make the score 12-12 are halftime.

At halftime the team were commended for playing a brilliant half of rugby. The only disappointment from the first half was that we were not more points ahead after playing all the rugby in the first half.

The team began the 2nd half with equal pace and determination. Both teams attacked and defended with aggression and skill and there was very little between the teams. The contest at the breakdown was becoming very heated and tempers spilled over after Chepstow took exception to an illegal clearout at a ruck. Once the game had restarted, Chepstow gained possession deep in the opposition half but the Penallta defence was becoming very effective. Closing down our space and pushing us backwards in the contact area, Ben cleverly changed tactics and chipped over the rush defence. He raced through to collect his own kick and score out wide. Josh kicked an excellent conversion to extend Chepstow lead to 19-12.

To maintain the lead and secure the win Chepstow needed to show composure at the restart. Unfortunately what has become our achilles heel cost us again. Allowing the ball to bounce we placed the receiver under huge pressure. To their credit Penallta were hugely committed in their kick chase and forced us to turn the ball over. From the resulting forward drives, Chepstow were unable to keep the visitors out. The resulting try was unconverted and Chepstow held on to a narrow lead at 19-17 going into the last few minutes.

We restarted and Penallta did what we couldn’t. They caught the ball with confidence and drove aggressively into our defence. They secured quick ball and moved it wide. In our desperation to defend we over chased and a lack of communication allowed a clever inside pass to put a runner into space. He ran unopposed to the line and score under the posts. The conversion took the score to 24-19 and Penallta closed down the game confidently to win a game in which we had made all the running. 

A disappointing loss given that we had played such good rugby and should have been more points up at halftime.
Every player is to be commended for their efforts during the game and the character being shown after the game.
The team has learnt that you are able to attack the opposition without the ball. Penallta placed us under severe pressure with a very aggressive defence and this is something we need to take into our fixtures in the future.

Well done everyone, Monmouth at home next week.
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