Fixture

Oakdale RFC | 1st Team 24 - 18 RTB (Ebbw Vale) RFC | 1st Team
Cieran Jenkins
Try 1
Christopher Davies
Conversion 2
Shane Kerby
Try 1
Luke Lovell
Try 1
Ryan Nicholls
Try 1
Liam Morgan
1 Try
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
Nathan Morgan
1 Try
1 Penalty

Match Report
04 October 2016 / Team News

Fortune Favours the Dale

Two wins from two, a good start but it has been a while now since we lost a game in the first month of the season and this season should not be too different with this being the last game of September against a team which we had done fairly well against in past seasons.

Now normally this paragraph would be a humorous overview of players who weren’t available on the day and the reasons for their absence would be completely ignored in favour of some sarcastic, derogatory, completely made-up reason. But today was not about the people who weren’t available and anyway there were too many to mention. No, today was all about the 20 players who donned the shirt, played for each other and played for the badge in a gutsy and gritty display which was not nice at times but got the job done and got the bonus point with a 24-18 victory.

The game didn’t start too well for the home side and although we usually take the lead within the first five minutes when we play at home it was the visitors that got the scoreboard ticking over after less than 120 seconds. With Oakdale penalised three times, yes three times, in the first 90 seconds at different points on the field the third indiscretion was in kickable distance and their man with the boot didn’t miss with the three pointer and RTees went into an early lead.

Six minutes into the game and the Dale were pressurising the visitors deep inside their own 22 and when RTees got the ball away from the scrum, their first thought was too clear up field. Unfortunately for them Ryan Nicholls, playing in the centre was on his toes and sprinting towards that ball. Nicholls was there in good time to charge down the punt, follow through (ooh-er!) and gathered the bouncing ball to run in under the posts. Cripper slotted over the conversion and the Dale stole the lead with a 7-3 scoreline.

On the quarter hour Rtees came storming back into the game with a good try of their own when effective offloading saw them eat up the yards and cross the whitewash for their first try of the day. The conversion was in front of the posts and I had already recorded that they had gone into a 10-7 lead when their player completely fluffed his kick and it past the right upright. The scoreboard clicked back, the player walked back very sheepishly and the scoreboard stood at 8-7.

One thing we always ask for from our team is control of the ball and playing when the time is right. On 23 minutes they showed us that they had that ability in abundance when from a good solid forward platform they darted forward but were supported so well that the away side couldn’t get near the ball. With a number of players involved in the attack it was left to Oakdale’s top try scorer, Cieran Jenkins to dart over in the corner for the Dale’s second try of the day close to the touchline. Cripper’s slim, slender and waxed legs didn’t have the ‘oomph’ to get it over the posts but the home side regained the lead at 12-8.


HALF TIME SCORE – OAKDALE RFC 12 V 8 RTB EBBW VALE


With 15 minutes gone into the second half it was ‘game on’ as Rtees came storming back into the game with their next score. After a sustained period of pressure from the away side in the Oakdale 22 they managed to fluff it up and Oakdale pushed them back off the ball. Cripper cleared the Dale’s line but the ball didn’t find touch, the home side didn’t give a good chase and soon found themselves back inside the 22. With some good attacks down the left hand side of the pitch the away side stretched the Dale’s defence so much that there was not enough left on the right to cover the final attack and it was a walkover the line for RTees for the their second try of the day. The conversion was good but Luke Yates’s mouth wasn’t as he decided he would tell the Ref how to do his job. The Ref wasn’t having none of it and when the conversion sailed over ran straight back to the halfway and immediately awarded the away side a penalty.

Not being a side to give such a gift away they gave it to their kicker for a pot shot at goal and he struck a great kick from the half way line which sailed through the middle of the posts. What was, moments before a 4 point lead suddenly turned into a six point deficit with that Rtees 10 pointer and the game stood at a tense 18-12 score line.

Within two minutes of the restart the ball landed in Yates’s hands and with everyone expecting a good 40 yarder from him the RTees defenders had other ideas when five of them quickly took him to ground. The ball was recycled well and Trevor fed Cripper who showed great hands to put Jordan Wall on the hoof. Wally threw a great dummy to sail through a gap, made some good yards and then passed to Josh Thomas. Josh drew the last defender, took the tackle and then fed Shane Kerby who sprinted over the line for a great try that started ay back in the Dale’s 22. Cripper stroked a great conversion and the nerves settled a bit when the home side gained the lead at 19-18.

Would we take the win now and settle for the four points or should we go for that all important fourth try and the bonus point. Supporters were looking at each other thinking one way and then the next. It didn’t matter though as that decision was taken from us with the highlight of the game. From close to their own 10 metre line Oakdale trundled forward through their forwards but then when the time was right they finally listened to Cripper’s screams to get the ball in his hands. Without a thought he sent a long kick in the direction of the opposite touchline for what seemed like a territorial advantage. What it was though was an inch perfect kick for winger Luke Lovell to run onto at full speed, gather the ball and outpace the full back over the line. Hands went into the air on the side, Cripper gave a knowing wink (but missed the conversion) and Oakdale extended their lead by a shaky six points to 24-18.

We could have lost the game by being only six points ahead but when we have to our defence is as strong as any in this league and no matter what was thrown at them the Dale competently managed to see the remaining minutes out and when the Referee blew the final whistle there was a big sigh of relief, a third win and a big pat on the back for all the players.


FULL TIME – OAKDALE RFC 24 V 18 RTB EBBW VALE RFC


Full credit to our players, this was a squad display and a great one at that. All the players gave it their all against an improved RTB Ebbw Vale side. It was an entertaining match and one which the away side will have thought they were in with a shout but a winning habit is hard to break and with a third league win out of three and four wins for the season (Bowl results included) we can only be happy bunnies.

A massive well done to Dai Fortune  (pictured) for taking the reins for the day in the absence of the missing three. The lads responded to him well and with a 100% win record as a coach he must surely now be on the radar of some professional set-ups.

 

COST OF ENTRY  - You know it’s £2.00. Nobody complained and it covered the after match food

QUALITY OF MATCHDAY PROGRAMME – Well the silky new programme cover had everyone talking and we didn’t have to face the indignity of the first home game when they didn’t arrive. Everything was shiny, everything was colour, everything was good

QUALITY OF AFTER MATCH MEAL – With the function room being used we were unable to provide the usual high quality fare and it was chips and curry from the Chinese. The bags of chips were bigger than when Leon supplied them so there was plenty to go around but with no bread and butter provided there were some stern looks at the committee. Some away supporter said we were not playing fair by serving it at 4:45pm but Edar doesn’t get in the clubhouse until then and we all know a full Edar is a happy Edar

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