Outstanding comeback sees Seaweeds earn win

By GEM Community Correspondent in Rugby

This was always going to be a tough trip to Crynant for Porthcawl and the home side, shrugging off patchy recent form, tore up the script as they raced to an 18-3 half-time lead.

When someone said at the interval, that a Porthcawl comeback would be of Biblical proportions, how prophetic would that turn out to be.

Porthcawl struggled from the off, despite having a fair share of possession as Crynant took a direct and committed approach with the Seaweeds simply unable to assert any real authority. The home pack raised their game and matched Porthcawl upfront with a gutsy determination.

An early penalty for offside got Crynant off to the best of starts, shortly followed by an unconverted try and second penalty for 11 points without reply inside 20 minutes.

Porthcawl certainly tried hard to put things together but the home defence locked them out frustratingly.

However, with the half-time break looming, Porthcawl finally got some reward as the outstanding James Burge-Davies at flanker broke three attempted tackles on his bullocking charge to the try-line from fully 40 metres for a glorious score.

Although Josh White’s conversion drifted wide, the visitors were at least in touch.

Back came Crynant however with a converted try to bring the curtain down on the half at 18-3, a score that they fully deserved.

Porthcawl coach Rhys James’ half-time discussion with his players seemed to do the trick as they up the ante and the forwards started to take control playing down the slope.

As the forwards put together a brilliant inter-passing move, with Jack Williams, Mike Cook and Leon McNally particularly prominent, they set up the ideal position for the excellent Mike Gubb at centre, to cross under the posts and White’s conversion brought it to 18-12.

The Seaweeds were now in the ascendant as they took the match by the scruff of the neck and the pack rampaging forward. Another superb forward drive resulted in a try for debutant flanker Ben Asprea and he took his try superbly, for White to convert, and at 18-17 Porthcawl sensed the win was coming.

Crynant pulled back three points with a penalty for 21-18 but from then on it was all Porthcawl.

First of all centre Gareth Rees scythed his way through the home defence for a slick try to put Porthcawl ahead for the first time with White’s conversion just sailing wide, before White banged over a penalty for 21-25, as lock Ian O’Keefe came off the bench to add his drive to the upfront effort.

With the game entering the 82 minutes, flanker Asprea found himself 30 meters out in space on the right and broke through the defence to charge over for his brace try, goaled by White’s superb conversion, and at 21-32 Porthcawl had turned the match round for a resounding victory.

Certainly this was a match of two halves and Porthcawl’s comeback was nothing short of outstanding, scoring 27 points to Crynant’s three in the second half.

This will lift the Seaweeds ahead of their match with Vardre at South Road on February 18.


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