Match Report: Nottingham 21 – 31 Aberavon

Nottingham 21 – 31 Aberavon

Aberavon played their second pre-season on Saturday afternoon when they travelled to Nottingham RFC to take on the English Championship side. The Wizards, who travelled up the night before with the game kicking off at noon, put in a great performance with their pack dominating their hosts in the set-piece. A special mention must go to locks Shay Smallman and Rhodri Hughes who have both been unsung heroes these last two games, whilst centre Joe Gage was impressive yet again at 12.

The home side started well and opened the scoring eight minutes in when wing David Williams touched down for outside-half Morgan Bunting to convert. Shortly afterwards the Archers were reduced to fourteen players when wing Harry Graham was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. The visitors were causing the home side all sorts of problems in the scrum and were awarded a penalty try in the seventeenth minute to tie the scores. Soon afterwards the Wizards’ backs attacked and a clever kick ahead by wing Stef Andrews resulting in centre Joe Gage touching down at the posts. Outside half Rhys Jones added the extras just before the water break. The Archers threw everything at the Wizards with some great defending by the visitors. However, former Cardiff University centre Marcus Ramage scored half-hour in with Bunting’s conversion tying the scores at 14 all with the score remaining that way at the interval.

In the second half, the Wizards once more showed their dominant scrum when they were awarded their second penalty try of the game seven minutes in. Shortly afterwards, replacement hooker Cameron Lewis touched down in the corner to make the score 26 – 14 in Aberavon’s favour as the game reached another water break. In the sixty-fourth minute, Lewis scored his second try of the game taking the visitors into a seventeen-point lead. With both teams having made many substitutions the game lost some rhythm whilst the Archers were rewarded with a consolation score in injury time to make the final score Nottingham 21, Aberavon 31.

The Wizards play their third and final pre-season game next Saturday with Cardiff University coming to the Talbot Athletic Ground, kick-off at 2:30 pm.

Nottingham 21 – 31 Aberavon

Aberavon Team:
Jonathan Phillips; Frankie Jones, Joe Thomas, Joe Gage, Stef Andrews; Rhys Jones, Iwan Temblett; Rhys Fawcett, Luke Davies, Chris Davies, Shay Smallman, Rhodri Hughes, Ashton Evans, Dan Baker, Joe Tomalin-Reeves (capt).

Replacements Used:
Rowan Jenkins, Jordan Walters, Morgan James, Geraint James, Cameron Lewis, Andrew Waite, Iestyn Davies, Steff Lewis, Rhodri Cole, Liam Seaward, Gabe Lacey, Bradley Roderick.

Aberavon Scorers:
T – Cameron Lewis (2), Penalty Try (2), Joe Gage
C – Rhys Jones

Nottingham Scorers:
T – David Williams, Marcus Ramage, Josh Goodwin
C – Morgan Bunting (2), A.N.Other

Time Line:
08 min: Nottingham – T – David Williams & C – Morgan Bunting (7 – 0)
11 min: Nottingham – Yellow Card – Harry Graham
17 min: Aberavon – T – Penalty Try (7 – 7)
19 min: Aberavon – T – Joe Gage & C – Rhys Jones (7 – 14)
29 min: Nottingham – T – Marcus Ramage & C – Morgan Bunting (14 – 14)
40 min: Half Time
47 min: Aberavon – T – Penalty Try (14 – 21)
50 min: Aberavon – T – Cameron Lewis (14 – 26)
64 min: Aberavon – T – Cameron Lewis (14 – 31)
80+1 min: Nottingham – T – Josh Goodwin & C – A.N.Other (21 – 31)
80+2 min: Full Time