Ebbw take the spoils in another Gwent derby
The Steelmen came away from Newport with a hard earned but well-deserved victory, in a game that was played in testing conditions.
Straight from the kick off, playing into the wind, the away side took the game to their opponents. After being awarded consecutive penalties in the home sides half, Ebbw Vale outside half Evan Lloyd successfully kicked a penalty to put the visitors three points ahead.
Three early substitutions for Newport disrupted the home sides rhythm. However, they were soon ahead when from a lineout inside the Steelmen’s twenty-two, the home side forwards set up a rolling maul, which ended with hooker Henry Palmer diving over the line to score the first try of the game. Fullback Carwyn Penny was unlucky not to add the two points when his conversion came back off the posts.
With the away side forwards taking the game to the Black and Ambers, a superb chip inside the home side’s twenty-two by Evan Lloyd out to the wing, saw Ebbw Vale young winger Harry Rees-Weldon catch the ball and cross the line to score in the corner. A terrific conversion by Lloyd from the touch line went over after hitting the inside of the post, to extend Ebbw’s lead further ahead.
Newport soon hit back and retook the lead, when from a lineout inside the Steelmen’s half, the ball found its way out to full back Penny, who saw a gap in the defence outside the away side’s twenty-two. With the defence scrambling back, the full back showed his pace and went under the posts unopposed. Penny successfully converted his own try.
Ebbw Vale marksman Lloyd put the visitors back ahead from a penalty after the referee penalised Newport for ill-discipline.
With the game going into first half injury time, Lloyd further extended the away side’s lead to make it a four-point game going into the interval.
Half Time: Newport RFC 12 Ebbw Vale RFC 16
The Steelmen came out for the second half, like they finished the first half and went straight onto the front foot. With the wind and momentum behind them, Ebbw further extended their lead to seven points within five minutes of the restart, when the visitor’s top points scorer Lloyd kicked an excellent fifty metre penalty.
The Black and Ambers responded immediately with full back Penny successfully reducing the deficit with an excellent penalty into the wind.
Another penalty by the visitor’s marksman Lloyd, saw the lead again extend to seven points for the Steelmen.
The away side were given another opportunity to extend their lead to ten points after ill discipline by Newport gave Lloyd an opportunity from the tee. With the wind behind him, the marksmen successfully kicked the penalty to put Ebbw Vale more than one score ahead.
With the weather continuing to play a part in the game, Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange started to ring the changes. Lewis Young replaced the impressive Kobi Rees, inspiring props Adam Court and Morgan Davies were replaced by Harry Drane and Luke Garrett.
Further ill-discipline by the home side gave the visitors an opportunity to stretch their lead to thirteen points on the seventieth minute. Prolific points scorer Lloyd duly obliged.
The Steelmen’s coach Strange, made further changes with co-captain Rhys Francis replacing the ever-dependable Joe Franchi and Owen Conquer coming on for the excellent Alex Howes.
With just over five minutes left of the game, the away side were reduced to fourteen men when fly half Lloyd was penalised in the Ebbw twenty-two. Running out of patience the referee showed the yellow card, to leave the Steelmen seeing out the remainder of the game one man down.
The hosts with a numerical gain, took advantage when the forwards took the penalty quickly and number eight Ben Roach powered over the try line to score his sides third try of the game. Full back Penny was again unsuccessful with the conversion.
With only minutes remaining, Ebbw Vale coach Strange replaced the reliable Harry Rees-Weldon with Kieran Meek and Rory Harries came on for the industrious Jordan Thomas.
Despite the best efforts of both teams, no further points were added to the scoreboard, leaving the Steelmen victorious after a hard battle in tricky weather conditions.
Full Time: Newport RFC 20 Ebbw Vale RFC 28
Tries: Harry Rees-Weldon (1)
Conversion: Evan Lloyd (1)
Penalties: Evan Lloyd (7)
After the game we spoke to Ebbw Vale winger Jordan Thomas. Jordan acknowledged it was always going to be a tough game away to Newport, especially considering the weather was not the best, with the wind and the rain swirling around at the start of the game. Jordan finished by stating the squad were happy to come away with an important victory, after a hard loss to take last time out against Pontypool.
Ebbw`s next game is at home at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on Saturday 25th of November 2023 against Swansea, with the kick-off at 2:30pm.
Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans