Ebbw Score Try Bonanza
The Steelmen ran in eleven tries in a one-sided contest in a game where Cameron Regan captained Ebbw on his 200th appearance.
The hosts came out on the front foot and scored their first try within the opening four minutes. An excellent chip through, saw full back Morgan Richards collect the ball and score out wide. Outside half Evan Lloyd was unsuccessful in adding the two points.
Ebbw soon scored their second try of the afternoon. Good work by the forwards, saw second row Dylan Barlett pick up the ball and drive over the line. Fly half Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.
With the home side having total dominance, Ieuan Morris got his name on the scoresheet after a catch and drive from a lineout within the Neath twenty-two in the twenty third minute. Lloyd again added the two points to make the score 19-0 to the Steelmen.
The Steelmen collected a try scoring bonus point moments later. After good play by the forwards, a chip over the defence by outside half Lloyd saw centre Ethan Phillips collect the ball and hand off three players before powering over the line to score. Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.
With Neath unable to get out of their own twenty-two, the hosts scored their fifth try of the afternoon a minute before the break. From a scrum on the away side five metre line, scrum half Rory Harries picked up the ball from the back of the scrum, ran at the defence and stretched his arm out over the line to score his first try of the afternoon. Lloyd was unable to add the extras from out wide.
Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 31 Neath RFC 0
Within five minutes of the restart, Ebbw Vale’s Rory Harries added to his try tally. After being awarded a penalty on the halfway line, quick thinking by the scrum half, saw Harries take a quick tap and run in under the posts unattended. Number ten Lloyd added the two points.
Minutes later the hosts were reduced to fourteen when outside half Evan Lloyd was sent to the sin bin by English referee Jack Moorhouse for ten minutes after a no arms tackle.
The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange made his first changes of the afternoon after fifty-two minutes. Joint club captain Joe Franchi replaced hooker Ieuan Morris, flanker Ben Main came off for Lewis Young and number eight Ryan Jenkins came on for Alex Howes.
The visitors took advantage of their numerical supremacy by scoring a well taken try. Inside the hosts twenty-two quick passes out wide to Louis Rees, saw the winger speed over in the corner. However, the conversion was unsuccessful by no.10 Steff Williams.
Substitute Joe Franchi made an instant impact. Within a minute of coming on, the hooker added his name to the scoresheet. From a lineout in the Neath half, a catch and drive ended with Franchi diving on the line to score his sides seventh try of the afternoon. With Lloyd off, Kieran Meek was successful with his first kick of the afternoon.
Ebbw Vale scrum half Harries scored his hat trick of tries in the fifty-six minute. A break by hooker Franchi, saw the co-captain pass to the scrum half, who used his strength to go over. Meek again added two extra points.
Home side coach Strange replaced props Luke Garrett and Adam Court with Morgan Davies and Owen Hatherill, Ewan McIntyre replaced captain Cameron Regan and moments later Dom Franchi came on for winger Jordan Thomas.
Five minutes later, a precise kick through saw home centre Phillips collect the ball, draw the covering defender and send Harries over the line who popped the ball to Evan Lloyd to score. Fly half Lloyd added the two points.
With Neath throwing the ball out to the wing on the halfway line, centre Keiran Meek intercepted the ball and showed a clean pair of heels to go under the posts un to score the hosts tenth try of the afternoon.
Scrum half Jon Evans replaced Rory Harries for the Steelmen’s last change of the game.
With four minutes left on the clock, the experienced scrum half saw a gap down the blind side. With winger Ewan Bowden on his shoulder, the scrum half passed to the winger. With two defenders in front of him, Bowden put in a well weighted kick to out pace his opposite number, get to the ball before the covering full back and chip ahead to dive on the ball over the line. Outside half Lloyd scored the last two points of the game.
Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 73 Neath RFC 5
Tries: Rory Harries (3), Joe Franchi (1), Ieaun Morris (1), Morgan Richards (1), Ewan Bowden (1), Ethan Phillips (1), Dylan Bartlett (1), Kieran Meek (1) Evan Lloyd (1)
Conversions: Evan Lloyd (7) Kieran Meek (2)
Man of the match: Rory Harries
After the game we spoke to Ebbw Vale winger and try scorer Ewan Bowden. Ewan was pleased with the team’s performance, especially considering Neath’s current league position. He thought it would have been easy to become complacent, however, the team kept to their basics and DNA really well and was happy to come away with the victory.
Finally, Ewan paid tribute to Cameron Regan after the flanker made his 200th appearance for the club. Ewan congratulated Cameron and said he put his heart and soul into his performance on the pitch and led the team to a very good victory.
Ebbw Vale’s next league game is away to Bridgend RFC at the Dunraven Brewery Field on Saturday 17th February 2024 at 2:30pm.
Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans