Bedwas RFC 36 Llanelli RFC 22
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 31st December 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas secured their top eight position, putting six tries on Llanelli to ensure there will be no jitters going into the last game before the split.
It was Llanelli who scored first after 8 minutes as a Bedwas pass was gratefully snapped up by Llanelli full back Dion Jones who raced away to score. Billy McBryde’s conversion attempt went wide.
Although Llanelli then seemed to dominate possession they couldn’t carve out any scoring opportunities. Bedwas hit back after the forwards edged their way to the try line before the ball was sent right for Mike Callow to cut through the cover and score under the posts. Richard Powell added the extras.
Three minutes later and Bedwas went in to the lead. The ball going through the hands for Pat Lewis to score next to the corner flag on the right hand side. Powell’s conversion kick went wide.
Bedwas continued to dominate and Alun Rees burst through several would be tacklers to run in from 25 metres, again the conversion went wide.
Barely five minutes later and Bedwas crossed for their fourth and bonus point earning try. From a lineout 35 metres out the Bedwas forwards perfectly executed a ‘truck and trailer’ drive culminating in a second try of the afternoon for Alun Rees. Powell again failed to convert.
There was still time for Llanelli to hit back with a second try for Dion Jones who burst through some slack tackling to cross, McBryde adding the extras.
It only took four minutes of the second half for Bedwas to effectively seal the deal and this try had a touch of comedy about it. A Llanelli line out five metres from their own line was thrown in before his colleagues were ready. Alun Rees reacted quickest and claimed the loose ball and dive over the line for his try hat-trick. Powell finally found his range and added the conversion.
Matthew John powered through a hole in the Llanelli defence after 53 minutes and with Powell’s conversion Bedwas were 36 points to 12 ahead, a lead that could allow Bedwas head coach Steve Law to ring the changes and give the players on the bench some game time.
With the game effectively won Bedwas took their foot off the gas and for a while the game was a little flat although to their credit Llanelli kept plugging away and unconverted tries by Ashley Evans (75 minutes) and Rhodri Cole (79 minutes) earned their side a bonus point.
Next Saturday Bedwas travel to Cardiff and although qualification for Bedwas is guaranteed the Arms Park club are by no means certain of their place in the final eight and will be gunning for victory and hoping Ebbw Vale slip up at Cross Keys.