8th May 2012, 13:10
Pencoed beaten but not disgraced
Having reached the Welsh Finals Day with a hard fought victory over Dyffryn Taf, Pencoed then faced Gloucester’s Chosen Hill School in round one. In a brutal encounter, the lead changed five times before Pencoed battled their way into the
Carnegie Champion Schools Year 8 Quarter Finals
Pencoed Yr 8 10 v 50 South Leeds Academy Yr 8
Having reached the Welsh Finals Day with a hard fought victory over Dyffryn Taf, Pencoed then faced Gloucester’s Chosen Hill School in round one. In a brutal encounter, the lead changed five times before Pencoed battled their way into the quarter finals, setting up a home draw against South Leeds Academy.
Despite atrocious weather conditions earlier in the week, Pencoed welcomed their South Leeds Academy visitors for the last eight fixture. Pencoed’s build up to the game was assisted by the WRL’s Craig Fox and the squad were ready to take the field on a surprisingly good surface. Things couldn’t have started off in a worse way for Pencoed as from their first real attack, South Leeds scored a converted try to the left of the posts. However, Pencoed’s response was immediate. South Leeds failed to gather the kick off, the ball sitting up perfectly into the arms of Matthew Willmott who raced away to score, with Brandon Thrasher converting.
Both sides continued to test eachother, with South Leeds managing to create space wide out a number of times, whilst Pencoed’s willingness to play at every opportunity produced breaks for stand off Cameron Fyvie Davies and wing Liam Walters.
A good build up from South Leeds again created space, and this time they capitalised, scoring a quality try wide out when Pencoed ran out of defenders. Pencoed again forced their way back into the game with sold carrying from forwards Zac Taylor and Dewi Parrish. Possession saw Pencoed’s backs skilfully work Shaun Owen free and he carried two defenders over the line in the corner.
Again, South Leeds went a score ahead. Unfortunately, Pencoed’s response was this time let down by poor decision making on the Leeds line with Brandon Thrasher being held up just before half time. The remainder of the half, and the majority of the second period belonged to South Leeds as they put together a workmanlike performance, scoring with a steady regularity.
The final score of 50-10 slightly flattered the Yorkshire visitors, however, having two players who are members of the Leeds Rhinos Academy certainly proved to be telling. For the neutrals in the crowd, this was a case of a school from one of rugby league’s hotbeds doing the basics well and outplaying a side who are still making the transition from union to league.
Pencoed now turn their attention to the upcoming Welsh Finals Day, whilst South Leeds returned home to prepare for the semi final of the Champion Schools Cup versus St Peter’s of Wigan.
The competition has again allowed Pencoed to make links with schools that otherwise would not develop and PE teacher, Ian Poley is keen to ensure that all age groups are entered into the qualifying competitions in Wales next year.