Fixture

Oakdale RFC | 1st Team 10 - 6 Caerphilly RFC | 1st Team
Josh Thomas
Try 1
Christopher Davies
Drop Goal 1
Simon Veall
Conversion 1
Matthew James Hurley
2 Penalty

Match Report
07 October 2015 / Team News

Do You Like A Tight One? Do You?

Let’s face it, nobody really enjoyed the England versus Wales match. It was 79 minutes and 59 seconds of sheer torture, knowing that England played better and only really threw the match away when they were pushed into touch and Wales managed to secure their own lineout to put the ball out of play. That last second will be one that will last with us forever but nobody really enjoys a tight match as it is being played out. It was the same on Saturday, two well matched sides that had unbeaten records going into the game, something had to give and things could have been so different if the last seconds of this game had a different outcome.

We hadn’t played Caerphilly in a competitive fixture since the heady days of the Heineken leagues back in the early 90’s. Their fall from grace had not been as fast as ours and they had maintained a good league position for a number of years but for whatever reason they find themselves in Division Three East ‘A’ and had not come up against a stern test as yet. What they found at the Rec on Saturday was an Oakdale team willing to play for each other and resolutely defend their line whatever the cost.

The match started well for both sides with Caerphilly showing good intent off first phase play but Oakdale capitalising on any mistake by the away side and showing that their attacking prowess was something that Caerphilly would need to be weary of. The first scoring chance of the day fell to the Dale on seven minutes when Caerphilly were penalised at the ruck although the ever-reliable Simon Veall put his penalty effort wide.

Five minutes later the Caerphilly kicker showed Veall the way to go when he slotted through his penalty attempt after an infringement at the breakdown and Caerphilly went ahead at 0-3.

Two minutes later the village was shook to is core when Oakdale, looking good in attack suddenly found themselves at a standstill. Turner took the ball and passed it out to send his backs in motion but Cripper stood his ground looked at the posts and struck a sweet drop goal straight through the sticks. Not a sound was heard and everyone looked at each other and mouthed ‘WTF was that?’ Not having seen a drop goal by an Oakdale player at the Rec in years this sent Statto, Adrian Robins into a panic and he started foaming at the mount. All he kept saying was ‘when was the last time that happened?’ over and over again but still Oakdale drew level at 3-3.

On 22 minutes dead-eye Veall missed the chance to extend the Oakdale lead when he made it 2 out of 2 for missed penalty attempts on the day.

On 35 minutes Caerphilly were penalised at the ruck again this time just outside the 22 but within good range of the uprights. Simon ‘sureshot’ Veall once again stepped up and once again failed with his penalty attempt for a 100% success for missed 1st half penalty attempts.

Right on half time Oakdale found themselves in their own 22 with a defensive scrum. The scrum was solid but Brett’s pass to Veall was anything but and it fizzed right past him. Simon managed to clear the ball over his own dead ball line much to the delight of the travelling supporters but when the Ref blew for half time there was a condescending cheer from the home supporters to bring a tight first forty to a close.


HALF TIME – OAKDALE RFC 3 V 3 CAERPHILLY RFC


Three minutes into the second period substitute hooker Curtis Perkins conceded a penalty for not retreating 10 metres after Oakdale were penalised. Fortunately for Perkins the penalty attempt was not on target.

Minutes later from a good Caerphilly attack Oakdale managed to pinch the ball and clear their lines. Dai Fortune gave good chase and caught the ball carrier in an indecisive mood. He flung the ball into midfield and it found one of their big men but what he didn’t find was Mark Dowden steaming right for him and he defined the phrase ‘I am going to bend you right up’ and he smashed into him and nearly broke the poor lad in two.

On 47 minutes it was try time for the Dale as Oakdale pressured and attacked well to find themselves in the opposition 22. With a good platform set by his forwards Brett fed Cripper who put a deft chip over the onrushing defence and sent his young guns chasing after it. It was a case of first to the ball wins and it turned out that josh Thomas won the race to claim the first try of the day. If he didn’t like penalties on the day he certainly liked conversions as Veall converted a difficult attempt through the uprights to take Oakdale into the lead at 10-7.

On 50 minutes one of the Caerphilly forwards was yellow carded for a hop, a skip and a jump to wrap himself around an Oakdale player’s neck which left the Ref no option but to send him to the side for 10 minutes. Meticulous as he is, Veall maintained that 100% record when he pushed his fourth penalty attempt of the day wide of the posts and the score remained the same.

That Caerphilly player showed Veall again how to do it when he successfully converted a penalty on 55 minutes to bring them within four points of their hosts with the score at 10-6.

Straight from the kick-off Caerphilly dropped the ball and it was quickly gathered by the Dale who made some good yardage with a couple of strong attacks. When the play broke down the Ref blew for another Oakdale penalty for offside by Caerphilly in midfield. Do I need to tell you what happened next? The score remained the same.

On 75 minutes Caerphilly were awarded a penalty and when they took a quick one Gethyn Hockey decided to disrupt play even though he hadn’t retreated even three yards. He was immediately shown the yellow and Caerphilly kicked to the corner. From there on in it was the most tense ending to a match we have seen in a long time. Our visitors battered the line but the Dale’s defence was strong and organised. The Caerphilly supporters thought their team had scored a try when one of the players dived around a ruck to touch the ball. How the supporters knew the ball was over the line was beyond everyone and Oakdale cleared to touch. There was only time for one last salvo from the visitors but their attack broke down and the Ref blew for full time. Phew!


FULL TIME – OAKDALE RFC 10 – 6 CAERPHILLY RFC


We all knew this was going to be a tough one, previous results had told us that. Caerphilly were a well organised side who were well drilled and had a good pack. Their first phase play looked impressive without ever really getting them over the gain line and the Oakdale defence made sure of that. We played well but it still seems that everyone wants to do it on their own. We have strong runners throughout the team but we also have strong support players waiting for that ball to be passed when the time is right, we just need to synchronise those watches.

Hours later, Statto Robins bounded into the club smiling from ear to ear. Triumphantly he announced to his fellow members that it had been exactly 1669 days (05/03/2011) since Oakdale Rugby Club last successfully converted a drop goal in a league match. That time it was by Will Hook in a game against next week’s opponents, New Tredegar. We are not fussed on change in the club so let’s hope that dandy, fly-by-night trendsetter, Cripper Davies keeps those dancing shoes on and scores the tries. Drop goal? What was he thinking?

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