Aberystwyth Reflect

Thursday 22nd February 2007 12:00 am
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ABERYSTWYTH RFC intend to make the most of their enforced break from league action, as they fine-tune their high-flying squad for the climax to their Division Three West campaign. While the season is temporar-ily put on hold due to the Six Nations, the Aber camp will reflect on their game plan ahead of their next match at Pembroke Dock in a fortnight. With six matches left, leaders Aber are gearing up for a tense climax to the campaign, with rivals Llangefni level on points, and Tumble a point behind, both with a game in hand. Aber still have to play both these teams before the end of the season, and the club knows only too well that their destiny in their hands, as they strive to go one better than last season. Head coach Kevin Bryan could take plenty of positives as his side maintained a slender lead at the top of the table, with a workmanlike home verdict over Laugharne last weekend. "To score 38 points in a fairly stop-start affair was very good going, it could be said that this averages out to be a point on the board every two minutes during the game," said Bryan. "It was enjoyable to watch and, although some areas of play will always frustrate both myself and the spectators, there were a number of positives that we should be pleased with. "The defence was excellent, there were only two penalties kicked, and these were from the 10-metre line, where 90 per cent of the kickers in the league would probably have missed. "Even more pleasing was the fact that not one penalty was given away in Aber's own 22 when they were defending. "This shows that our discipline has improved greatly - gaining the respect and support of the referee - where in the past this area of the game affected the overall performance. A lot of people commented on this." The Aberystwyth coach had reason to be pleased with an effective performance from his forwards on the whole, but he also admitted that there was still room for improvement. "L l e w e l y n E v a n s h a s impressed me over this last year, and lock Dai Davies, is coming back to form and seems to be enjoying his rugby, like most in the squad," said Bryan. "There is a feel-good factor in the squad, and both Dai and Llew are proving a strong force within the team, although they both should be offering them-selves more off Dorian Lloyd at outside half, like Aled Evans, the openside flanker does. "They, like the rest of the pack, should probably be getting to that depth and taking it on, rather than running across and trying to rely on their bulk tak-ing them over the gain line." Bryan admitted that the line-outs weren't as crisp after los-ing prop, and thrower, Eifion Jones, with a shoulder injury, and this needs to be addressed.. "Hopefully the gap in fixtures this weekend will aid recovery, but this is something to work on, with Geraint Rowlands and Wyn Morris both capable throwers of the ball," he said. While being pleased with his side's defence, Bryan added that his side could also take a closer look at their passing dur-ing Saturday's performance. "The backs' defence is good, but you wander when their passing will come!" he said. "They tend to pass about five yards before the contact, so therefore the defender does not have to check, or more often than not, they do not give it at all. Only they can resolve this. "Although, it did show when Steffan Roberts went on to Number 10, there were options wide out; gaps appeared, and the outside centres and wings got ball and even scored." Bryan added: "The back row is another strong area, with Aled Evans, Llewelyn Evans and Elgan Jones starting, although Number 8 Iestyn Jones was called in before half-time. "With Dewi Williams unavail-able, and with a few more play-ers also snapping at their heels, the team selection has to be carefully considered over the next six games of the season." The Aber coach commented that it was very difficult to pick a Man of the Match from a good team effort, although he said that Paul Stubbs may well have earned it on the day. He said: " Paul Stubbs, the day after his 21st birthday, proba-bly squeezed it with two well-taken tries, but it was also nice to see wing Mathew Green get his first run out in the team. "He now needs to build up his confidence to maintain his selection, although getting the ball out to our fast wingers is something we need to solve." In the meantime, Aber were also left looking back over their shoulders as Llangefni and Tumble also recorded wins. "The league will go down to the wire, and the team who wants it more will probably get it," asserted the Aber coach.

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