Encouraging signs for Barbarians despite first game loss

Fleur de Lys 33 Bedwas Barbarians 7

Match report by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths, Image courtesy of Angela Brideaux

The newly renamed Bedwas Barbarians made the journey to Fleur de Lys 1st XV to kick off their pre-season campaign. It was a scorcher of a day, and the young Wass side were looking forward to getting things underway. Three men also made their Bedwas debut, Andrew Prouse, Martyn Evans (brother of current player Gavin) and Aaron Atwood.

The game began slowly for Bedwas, the Fleur pack were strong and used their power to make some hard yards towards their line. Bedwas managed to withhold their initial attacks with some great defence, especially from our back rowers, Dafydd Francis, Logan Hughes and Alex Kawulok.
Bedwas managed to get some momentum going and played some great fast attacking rugby through their back line, with fullback Saul Down making a dashing run from his own 22, setting up an opportunity to build some phases in the opposition half. Bedwas pressed but the Fleur defence dismantled their attack and turned over possession.
Soon followed a surge from Fleur, resulting in the first try of the match, scored in the right-hand corner, converted by their outside half. (7-0).

Bedwas restarted play through outside half Owen Thomas, who shortly after unfortunately had to leave the field prematurely with a knee injury. The barbarians started to push their opposition defensive line once again but after putting together some solid phases of attack, were unable to cross the whitewash and found themselves back downfield after a turnover and cleared ball. Some promising attacking play followed, with replacement outside half Tyler Pesci-Griffiths returning a kick over the defensive line, landing with an unlucky bounce on his chase just short of the 5-metre line. Fleur cleared the ball and Bedwas found themselves without points once more.

The opposition answered these plays with their own attacking surge and scored themselves another 7 points making the score line 14-0.

In the dying moments of the half, a solid run from centre Kyle Jackson to take the ball into the opposition half saw two potential tries disallowed for the boys in black and white, with debutant Andrew Prouse being held up on the try line after a strong carry from a pick and go, and scrum half Morgan Jones was unlucky with a lovely chip over the top into the goal area, just touching the ball down on the edge of the dead ball line.

Half Time
Fleur 14-0 Bedwas

Fleur kicked off the second half, with second rower Morgan Phipps claiming the ball and making a good run into the opposition defence. The ball found its way out to Saul Down who again made a brilliant run downfield but being left isolated resulted in a turnover ball.
Again Fleur answered with a run from their winger, scoring in the corner, leading to another 7 points being claimed.
Bedwas kept persisting but struggled to put any phases together, the Fleur pack made life extremely difficult for Bedwas in the breakdown, resulting in difficulty to get clean ball out to the back line. Fleur scored another unanswered try midway through the second half, adding just 5 points this time due to the conversion sailing wide of the sticks.
As the game began to draw to a close, Bedwas managed to settle and started to play some expansive rugby through the back line. With Kyle Jackson breaking the defensive line once again, making metres up field and passing wide to Martyn Evans, who made a good effort but was just caught and taken out into touch. Fleur answered sharply from their lineout, with a set piece move which sent their centre through the middle and scoring under the posts, this time with a successful conversion.
With time running out, Bedwas made a final few pushes, after some great phases of play from the forward pack, Morgan Jones chipped a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the breakdown, for Logan Hughes to gather and score, with Tyler Picton adding the extras. As the last play of the game was near, number 8 Alex Kawulok made a powerful run, beating 4 defenders and passing out wide to winger Osian Davis, who used his step to beat his opposite man, however the fullback just got there to prevent a second score from the Wass.
The final whistle sounded and the game finished in Fleur De Lys’ favour.
A lot of positives and a vision of what to work from to be taken from this game for the young Bedwas Barbarians side, against a very sharp Fleur De Lys 1st team.
Thank you Fleur de Lys RFC for the fixture and all the best in the coming season!