New Dock Stars RFC vs Furnace United RFC
Saturday 20th August @ St. George’s Field
Furnace RFC aka “The Cherries” made the short trip to local rivals New Dock Stars for their first pre-season match. With their hosts having won division 3 West C last year and coming off a win last weekend the coaches and players knew that a stern test lay in wait. Conditions on the day were far from ideal and the strong wind in particular made passing, kicking and line-outs a real challenge.
Furnace played with the wind at their backs in the 1st half and started the brightest. An arm wrestle developed up front with neither team able to gain dominance at set piece time. It was Furnace’s back-line that caught the eye early on and they looked particularly dangerous from 1st phase ball. Enterprising play led to clean line-breaks from both outside centre Scott Davies and outside half Oli Lewis. However, New Dock’s defence scrambled well and Furnace were not quite clinical enough to convert these chances into tries. During phase play Furnace looked to use their ball carriers up front to get over the gain-line before releasing their dangerous backs. Far too often though ball was either spilled going into contact or penalties were conceded at the contact area. Praise here must go to our host’s industrious back row who seemed to pop up at every breakdown and either slow down possession or turnover the ball.
The score remained at 0-0 until the half hour mark. An offside decision from a kick chase resulted in a shot at goal for the home team. Their outside half judged the conditions well and nudged them into the lead. Furnace continued to play with enterprise but still couldn’t crack New Dock’s resolute defence. In hindsight, we probably looked to play too much rugby when utilising the strong wind would have been the sensible option. With 30 seconds left on the clock in the 1st half Furnace were awarded a penalty and faced the decision of a long shot at goal or kick to the corner. As they would do all game, they refused the chance of 3 points and put the ball out on the 22m line. From the resultant line-out the Furnace pack looked to set up a driving maul. However with the ball available scrum half Luke Jenkins immediately darted in field and popped the ball to inside centre Daf Green. He cut a delightful angle and broke through the front-line defence before calmly popping the ball to his centre partner Scott Davies who sprinted over. The conversion was missed and the half-time whistle blown with Furnace leading 5-3.
Furnace came out of the blocks well again in the second half. With the wind in their face they were forced to keep ball in hand. New forwards player coach Chris ‘Vinnie’ Jones led from the front and his carries began to make dents in the home defence. With the defence sucked in Furnace identified the space on the outside and duly spread the ball wide. However, a great decision to gamble from New Dock’s winger led to an interception and 80m sprint in for a try which was well converted. This was probably a 14 point swing and in the past would have resulted in a lot of heads dropping. Frustration did creep in resulting in yellow cards for Luke Jenkins and Lloyd Herbert but the squad regrouped and continued to play positive attacking rugby. They got their reward when full back Jamie Herbert picked up the ball in his own half and looked to counter attack. He managed to beat 2 or 3 defenders before the field opened up for him and he sprinted in unopposed for a fine individual try. He couldn’t manage to kick the tough conversion into the wind so the scores were level at 10-10 with 10 minutes to play.
The game looked destined to end a draw with 2 minutes remaining but this was far from the case. With Furnace on attack just inside their own half, they were penalised at the breakdown. New Dock’s outside half stepped up and slotted a monster kick with the wind at his back to again push his team in front. From the resultant kick-off Furnace threw everything they had at the home team. As they had done all game Furnace’s ball carriers offered themselves time and time again. James ‘Hen John’ Owen and Andrew Bolton amongst others made telling contributions. Then came the move of the match... With Furnace knowing one dropped ball or turnover would end the game they threw caution to the substantial wind and looked to go wide. Forwards and backs interlinked until the ball reached man of the match Daf Green. He spotted the space on the outside and delivered a pin-point cross-field chip into the arms of new captain Geraint Williams. He collected the ball on the halfway line and sprinted clear. The second row drew in the defence and timed his pass perfectly to winger Geraint Jones who dived in at the corner to seal the win. With time up and pressure off Jamie Herbert nailed the touchline conversion to leave the final score 13-17 in favour of “The Cherries”.
Whilst there is definitely room for improvement in certain areas, Furnace will take a lot of positives from this result. They will look to kick on and improve against St Clears next Saturday (27th August) before their league campaign begins. There is a bus going and all supporters are welcome to come along to watch and have a few beers with the current squad. The fancy dress theme for the night is the Olympics. For more information and timings please get in touch with one of the coaching staff. We would like to take this opportunity to thank New Dock Stars for hosting us and for a great game of rugby. We hope you enjoy your tour to Agen and wish you all the best for your forthcoming league campaign.
There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.
Please wait as the server processes your request. Do not attempt to refresh the page.