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News > Sports > Caldicot RFC v OE Thundercats 9th Feb 2024

Caldicot RFC v OE Thundercats 9th Feb 2024

14 Feb 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies
Sports

Caldicot RFC v OE II XV ‘Thundercats’
Friday 9th February 2024

Caldicot were TCs’ hosts on a wet and cold evening just over the old Severn Bridge. The game had been in doubt on Thursday with continual rain and heavy storms forecast for Friday morning, but with some gentle persuasion Caldicot said the game was on and the mighty TCs assembled under the lights at Caldicot. A fairly sizeable crowd (for TC games) had made the effort to come and watch, and Caldicot’s player numbers had been swelled by their local neighbours Magor RFC.

THUNDERCATS SQUAD: Greg Foord, Fergus Blyth, Andy Adams, Archie Walker, Dan Leach, Jake Perry, Cuan Arnold, Kiran Wright, Peter Lytle, Sam Hygate, Sam Hudson, Rob Munro, Joe Watkins, Druv Bhavsar, Ben Morgan
Replacements: Wil Patterson, Alex Potts, George Burnie

The pitch, as expected, was soft underfoot but TCs started brightly and made use of the wide pitch at Caldicot, with some good running by both forwards and backs. Hygate playing at 10, was mixing the play up well, kicking from his 22 but moving the ball wide when needed. Caldicot had some seasoned and big players in their squad, and had the edge in the scrums and forward skirmishes. Caldicot were playing 10-man rugby trying to punch holes with their big forwards through the TCs’ defence, but TCs’ defence was, as ever, up to the challenge and the yellow line did not buckle.

TCs were struggling in the scrums against a much heavier Caldicot pack but TCs enjoyed far greater success in the line outs, with Archie Walker dominating the lineout on our ball, whilst disrupting the Caldicot line out on their throws.

After 20 mins of deadlock, TCs found themselves down the left-hand side of the pitch and after a good passage of play, the ball was spun out wide for the rampaging Fergus Blyth to run onto defenders still in his way. He knocked them over like skittles and ran in 30 metres to open the scoring and give TCs a well-deserved lead. TCs had decided to have try scorers take the conversions, which may explain why none of them were converted! (0-5)

Alex Potts entered into the fray after about 20 minutes, replacing the injured Rob Munro, and Will Paterson pulled off Sam Hygate.

Caldicot then enjoyed some sustained pressure on TCs, dominating the scrums and retaining possession in the TCs’ 22. TCs held firm for a long period but just before the break conceded a try.

Half Time Score: (5-5).

Andy Adams obviously did a stirring team talk at Half Time and the TCs started well in the second half, spending plenty of time in the Caldicot 22. TCs continued to make plenty of line breaks but the wet conditions were causing handling problems with final passes being dropped. Caldicot would inevitably clear their lines from the resultant scrum. Caldicot had made a change at HT and brought on a “Terry Ackerman” look alike at 10, who to his credit kicked Caldicot into some good positions, however, he did struggle to run with the ball in hand. TCs were the dominant side throughout the second half, and eventually made the territory and possession count when Fergus Blyth crashed over for his second of the night and again missed the conversion. (5-10).

Caldicot’s big no 10 kicked off for the restart and immediately TCs were under pressure, having not taken the kick cleanly, Caldicot pressed into TCs’ 22 and levelled the game at (10-10).

TCs’ lead had been short lived and by this stage George Burnie had come on, playing at centre alongside Potts now playing at 10 and barking orders to all who wore yellow. TCs were still controlling the exchanges but kept on losing the ball in contact with Caldicot clearing downfield only for the lively Ben Morgan to run it back. With 10 minutes to go, Fergus Blyth looked like he was going to get his hat-trick, when he crashed through the defence from 20 metres out but somehow ended up with the ball behind his back as he went over the tryline, only to knock on whilst trying to juggle the ball back in front of him.

The match was looking like it was going to end-up a 10-10 draw, when Patterson took a quick tapped penalty from deep inside his own half and with little support around him he got to the opposition 10 metre line. Galloping Burnie arrived on Patterson's outside, Patterson passed, and Burnie, who still had 2 defenders to beat handed them off, and crashed over in the corner for the crucial score. Again the conversion being missed (10-15).

Caldicot had a few minutes left to try and salvage something from the game and TCs made hard work for themselves with handling errors whilst trying to run out from their own 22, but although Caldicot had a succession of scrums 5m out, they continued to be thwarted by some great TCs’ defence and scrummaging, and TCs managed to keep their lead.

FINAL SCORE: Caldicot 10 – 15 Thundercats

Man of the Match: Fergus Blyth

SCORERS:
Tries: Fergus Blyth (2), George Burnie

Full Table and Fixture List for the 1st XV below

Report by: Club President Phil Cheek

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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