Druids v Gwernyfed (home) 03 Jan 2015

22-22 Draw

Close finish for Druids

Gwernyfed RFC were the latest opposition for the Druids played on Chippenham Mead. The playing surface was very soft and wet which made running and turning difficult for the players. The rugby ball whose bounce can be unpredictable on dry grounds was on this occasion non-existent as it flopped on the pitch.

The game which turned out to be a thrilling encounter was a tale of two distinct halves with both sides ‘having their moments’.

The first period belonged to the Druids and they were more the threatening and Full Back Kris Gordon turned this pressure into points. The visitors were penalised for off side and Gordon kicked a 25 metre goal. This was followed by a try set up by Centre Andrew Davies with a grubber kick through the Gwernyfed defence and over the try line. Gordon’s pace caught the visitors defence out and he dived on the ball to score a try which he duly converted to stretch the lead to 10-0.

Good astute kicking from Outside Half Dave Croudace penned Gwernyfed back in their 20 metre area. Another score looked likely and so it proved when Andrew Davies put in a chip over the visitors defence. Fellow Centre Chris Reed gathered the ball and raced away to score near the posts. Kris Gordon converted to give the half time score 17-0.

The second half saw a change in momentum as Gwernyfed stirred themselves and their pack winning more ball especially at the scrum. There was reward for this improvement when they scored a fine try starting from within their own half. Good support play and slick passing ended with Gwernyfed crossing the home line for an unconverted try.

The Druids responded with a try from Dave Croudace but the conversion attempt hit the post and bounced away to move the lead to 22-5.
Gwernyfed found a tactic which the Druids found very difficult to cope with. They set up Rolling Mauls from lineouts and scrums and their drives were expertly performed. From one such maul, the visitors out muscled the home defence to crash over for a try which they converted.
The home side seemed to tire as Gwernyfed had the better of play and it was no surprise that the visitors scored another unconverted try again involving the rolling maul.

With the score at 22-17 and the final whistle imminent tension was apparent in the Druids ranks. Gwernyfed were determined to win the game and they set a series of rucks and mauls near the home try line. A Gwernyfed forward forced himself over near the corner flag to bring the scores level at 22-22. The match result depended on the conversion attempt. The ball was propelled towards the posts but dipped below the crossbar so the match ended in a draw.

The Druids will be disappointed after gaining a sizable early lead but they will have leaned from the result. Good sensible kicking out of hand in the first half was replaced by too many loose kicks in the second half handing over possession to Gwernyfed. The Gwernyfed pack proved to be fitter and their stamina proved important.

For the Druids, Kris Gordon, Dave Croudace, Chris Reed and Kes Mobbs-Morgan played well. Whilst Number 8 Mike Price and Flanker Gareth Morgan worked hard and tackled strongly.

Another plus for Gwernyfed was the bonus point for scoring four tries. Happy days.

Tries: K.Gordon, C.Reed, D.Croudace
Conv: K.Gordon (2)
Pen: K.Gordon

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