Blog Banner

Under 15's Rhondda 15 Bridgend 10

1st May 2007

Rhondda's domination in school's rugby continued as they edged a nail biting Dewar Shield Final at Llandovery.

With the backing of a vociferous army of support they cam back from 10 points down to win the Shield for the fifth time in nine years.

Coach Chris Jones paid tribute to the 'Rhondda spirit' shown by the squad as they made the most of their forward dominance to overpower a strong running Bridgend.

The game began inauspiciously for the Rhondda boys, who despite dominating territory and possesion, went behind to a long range penalty. Bridgend went further ahead when they seized on a Rhondda mistake.

A mix up at the back of a scrum on half way gave Tom Habberfield the opportunity to feed flanker Sam Treharne who crossed under the posts.

Facing a 10-0 deficit spurred Rhondda to greater efforts.

Centres Adam Lewis and James Sheppard (both Cymmer) cut through on several occasions but the movements were smothered by the Bridgend defence.

Lock Macauley Cook (Cymmer) ruled supreme at the lineout and gave Rhondda a steady stream of possession with which they increasingly pressurised the Bridgend line.

However, as half time approached Bridgend broke from deep in their own half to threaten Rhondda but a spilled pass prevented a try.

Rhondda regained possession immediately and with the last play of the half used their forward prowess to smash over the line. All action No. 8 Jack Gibbon (Tonypandy) claimed the try. Full back Josh Wills (Treorchy) converted to leave the valley's side 10-7 down at the interval.

In the second half outside half Lewis Williams (Tonyrefail) used the strong wind expertly. He continually pegged Bridgend back deep into their own 22 with a tremendous display of precision kicking.

Wings Alex Webber (Ferndale) and Axel Bailey (Tonyrefail) made sure they rewarded thier outside half by following up his kicks and making some all engulfing tackles.

Prop Owen Davies (Cymmer) and backrowers Jack Gibbon and Steffan King (Treorchy) in particular exerted huge pressure on the Bridgend line and another try was inevitable.

After several rumbles by the pack Macauley Cook emerged with the ball from a pile of bodies to put his team 12-10 ahead.

Although Rhondda continued to bombard the opposition, a score which would seal their victory remained elusive.

Bridgend never gave up and were always dangerous on the counter attack.

However, Rhondda's defence excellently marshalled by Adam Lewis snuffed out any threat.

Raptuous celebrations from the Rhondda team and support ensued at the final whistle.

Captain James Sheppard said afterwards "The boys showed fantastic spirit to come back from 10 down and win the game. To do that in a final takes a lot of guts and commitment. I think we showed true Rhondda spirit to come away with a victory."

Chris Jones said, "They've been a great squad of boys to coach its been a pleasure to work with them and they deserve the Shield. It was a squad effort to get this far and the likes of Jake Thomas, Mitchel Auger, Lloyd Williams and Luke Matthews deserve special mention too."


15 Josh Wills (Treorchy)

14 Alex Webber (Tonyrefail)

13 Adam Lewis (Cymmer)

12 James Sheppard (Cymmer)

11 Axel Bailey(Tonyrefail)

10 Lewis Williams (Tonyrefail)

9 Ethan Sherlock (Cymmer)

8 Jack Gibbon (Tonypandy)

7 Daniel Waldin (Treorchy)

6 Steffan King (Treorchy)

5 Maccauley Cook (Cymmer)

4 Tarian Emmanuel (Tonypandy)

3 Owen Davies (Cymmer)

2 Carl Williams (Tonyrefail)

1 Leon Morris (Treorchy)