Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 33 - 29 Risca RFC | 1st Team
Morgan Mohring
2 Try
Kristian Nicolaas
1 Try
Nathan Williams
1 Try
3 Conversion
1 Penalty

Match Report
14 September 2023 / Team News

02/09/2023 Dowlais v Risca Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Risca 02/09/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 33

Risca: 29


A solid bonus point victory for Dowlais’ season opener this week on a very sunny day at home against Risca.

The first forty minutes of the season got off to a hotly contested start, with neither the home side nor the visitors making any marks on the scoreboard for quite a while. Other than a missed penalty for Risca, the sides remained evenly matched and neither one seemed more or less likely to take the first points of the game.

This stalemate would only come to an end after around 20 minutes of the half, with Dowlais finally securing a try after a long campaign in the Risca twenty-two, touched down by Sion Martin. Although the try would go unconverted, it still put Dowlais on top with a 5-0 lead.

In the wake of the match’s first try, any fears that a similarly long stalemate would follow before the next points were eradicated soon enough by Dowlais’ second try of the game, touched down by Jacob Munkley after an interception and fantastic run across more than half of the pitch.

With a conversion from Sion Martin, Dowlais were now looking strong with a 12-0 lead. But they wouldn’t let the half rest yet, as they managed to get in one more before the first forty minutes were up, this time touched down by Nick Thomas and converted once again by Sion Martin.

With a comfortable 19-0 lead, Dowlais were now undoubtedly on top of the game. Although Risca weren’t letting tries in by the boat-load and managed to solidify their defence after Dowlais’ third try, their defensive efforts wouldn’t matter if they couldn’t score soon.

To what must have been the visitors’ relief, Risca didn’t leave the half empty-handed, managing to get themselves a try – albeit an unconverted one – before the first forty minutes were up, sending both sides into half time at 19-5 to Dowlais.

Having gotten on top twenty minutes prior and having only succeeded in widening their lead from there, it’s safe to say that Dowlais – supporters and players alike – were feeling quite reassured going into the second half. Although they’d let a try in during the dying minutes of the last half, their lead was still two converted tries strong and they were just one more away themselves from a bonus point.

But any hopes that they’d have a stress-free forty minutes were dashed soon enough once the half got underway. After having seemed to mostly be on the back foot since Dowlais’ first try, Risca seemed reinvigorated during the opening minutes of the second half, immediately giving the home side much more trouble than they had for most of the first forty minutes.

Soon enough, these early assaults succeeded in erasing a good chunk of Dowlais’ lead. With a penalty and a converted try to the visitors, the score was brought to 19-15, with Risca in just one try’s distance of taking the lead.

But thankfully, at around the same time, Dowlais finally managed to get things under control and began launching their own counter attack.

After a long back-and-forth, Dowlais finally got behind the Risca try line once again for their fourth try, touched down by Harley Thomas and converted once again by Sion Martin.

But even with a bit of their lead regained and a bonus point under their belts, Dowlais didn’t let up and almost immediately followed up with yet another converted try – their last of the game – scored by Jake Hurley and converted one last time by Sion Martin.

With the score at 33-15, Dowlais had once again taken the reins of the game. With a lead of more than two converted tries and time starting to wear away, it seemed as though this would mostly be it for Risca’s attempts to claim Dowlais’ lead.

But still, the boys weren’t quite out of the woods yet, as a late yellow card would reinvigorate Risca’s attack once again. Following the card, Risca managed to get in two converted tries in fairly rapid succession, bringing the score to 33-29 and back to the same four-point gap that it had sat at four tries earlier.

Although tensions began to run high for Dowlais, they once again managed to regain control of the situation and put an end to Risca’s runaway counter attack, this time for good. Even with only a try’s worth of points separating them, the visitors simply ran out of time.

With one last strong kick into touch, the game was over, 33-29 to Dowlais.

Overall, with all of its back-and-forths, it certainly can’t be said that this year’s season opener was a boring one, and for the most part, I’d say the boys put in a very solid performance to start things off.

With an impressive total of five tries, with a wide variety of approaches, the boys definitely weren’t wanting in attacking strength for this particular bout, with said strength ultimately being the deciding factor that stopped Risca from pulling ahead even once despite their vicious attempts to thin Dowlais’ lead.

With that said however, they did perhaps manage to make it a bit harder on themselves by letting Risca back into the game as they did, not once, but twice, bringing themselves uncomfortably close to a repeat of a previous last-minute defeat against the same side from a few years prior. Chiefest among these issues were, once again, penalties and discipline, with the late yellow card in particular seemingly being the catalyst for the tense final few minutes.

But despite these issues, a bonus point victory is still a more than welcome result for the first game of the season.

Here’s hoping that the boys can keep the momentum of this performance up for next week as they go up against a new arrival to the league, facing Abergavenny away.


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