Ebbw’s semi-final heartache

The Steelmen came out second best against a clinical Newport side, on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Newport.

The home side were soon in front when experienced fly half Matt O’Brien kicked a penalty from in front of the uprights.

The visitors were level shortly after, when outside half Evan Lloyd brought the scores level after Ebbw Vale were awarded a penalty from the scrum.

A further penalty by number ten Lloyd saw the away side take the lead, midway through the first half.

The first try of the game was scored by Newport. Good play out wide saw centre Joe Westwood go over in the corner. An excellent conversion from the touchline by O’Brien saw the hosts take a four-point lead.

A lovely break through the centre of midfield, from the halfway line by Ebbw centre Ethan Phillips, saw the centre draw the opposing full back and pass the ball to the supporting Ryan Gardner. With the winger looking likely to score, opposing winger Lloyd Lewis came from nowhere to pull off a try saving tackle for his side.

The black and ambers were to score two quick fire tries down the blind side by winger Elliot Frewen and scrum half Che Hope just before half time. Outside half O’Brien successfully added the two conversions to give his side a twenty-one-point lead going into the break.

Half Time: Newport RFC 27 Ebbw Vale RFC 6

Newport started the second half just like they finished the first. Centre Westwood scored his second try out wide after the home side’s forwards made inroads into the Ebbw defence. O’Brien again, sent the conversion through the uprights to add the extras.

The Steelmen’s coach Jason Strange replaced the front row. Co-captain Rhys Francis replaced hooker Joe Franchi, in what was to be Francis’ final game and props Morgan Davies and Owen Hatherill came on for Luke Garrett and Adam Court.

The hosts fifth try of the afternoon came when from a lineout, the ball made its way out to centre Westwood, who burst through the Ebbw Vale defence to score a hat trick of tries. O’Brien added the two points.

Further changes by the visitor’s coach Strange saw centre Dominic Franchi come off for Cameron Davies, Owen Conquer replace number eight Ryan Jenkins and flanker Ben Main be replaced by Ewan McIntyre.

With just over ten minutes left in the game the away side were reduced to fourteen men. Flanker Lewis Young received a yellow card for ill-discipline.

However, whilst down to fourteen men, the Steelmen scored their only try of the afternoon. With the forwards going through the phases, young number eight Owen Conquer picked the ball up from the ruck and used his strength to dive over the line to score. Number ten Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.

The final change of the afternoon for the visitors saw Rory Harries came on for Ryan Gardner.

With the game entering injuring time, a lovely cross field kick by outside half O’Brien, just inside the Newport half saw the ball end up in the hands of winger Lloyd Lewis. With two men to beat, the speedster side stepped his man and showed his speed to go over the try line unopposed. O’Brien kept up one hundred percent kicking accuracy by adding the extra two points.

Full Time: Newport RFC 48 Ebbw Vale RFC 13


Tries: Owen Conquer (1)

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (1)

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)

After the game, we spoke with Ebbw Vale Scrum half Jon Evans, Jon was disappointed with the result. He acknowledged it was not what the squad wanted. However, he praised the side for the effort put in during the season, especially when comparing to where the team ended last year. Jon finished by advising it was tough to play away from home, every player gave everything they possibly could on the field and he was proud of the team.

Leave a Reply


Super Rygbi Cymru Officially Launched

Welsh rugby is about to undergo the biggest structural shake-up since the introduction of Regional rugby in 2003 with the creation of the 10-team Super Rygbi Cymru. Following 9 months of […]

Read More