Oakdale RFC - 7

AGE old rivals Oakdale were the visitors for Abergavenny RFC’s first home fixture of the new season, and after last week’s result the coaches were looking for a marked improvement.

The team selected was Curtis Price, Ieuan James and new signing Tom Powell in the front row, Dan Horler and Rhys Dawe in the second row, and Ethan Thomas and another new signing, Ben Roberts, joined captain Josh Davies in the back row.

Rhob Connick and Nathan Williams continued at half-back, Nathan Byrne teamed up with James Lewis in the centre, and in the back three Jacob Butler was joined by his brother Jack and Antony Squires.

From the kick-off Abergavenny had a different mindset to the previous week. They played a high tempo game and were looking to run the ball at every opportunity.

Aber kept the pressure on the Dale and were eventually rewarded with the opening score when after good inter passing between the backs, wing Antony Squires scored. Nathan Williams added the extra points.

Dan Horler scored the second try soon after, again converted by Williams to give Aber a 14 point cushion.

The Clarets were rampant and attacked the Oakdale line at every opportunity. Only some elementary mistakes prevented further scores. As half-time approached they capitalised with tries by captain Josh Davies and Ben Roberts. Both scores were converted by Williams to give Aber a bonus point and a 28-0 half-time lead.

The second-half was a case of what might have been, with Aber’s supporters losing count of how many tries could have been scored if it wasn’t for trivial mistakes and bad decision making.

Although well beaten Oakdale did not give up the ghost and kept plugging away. They were eventually rewarded with a try of their own to make it 28-7.

Abergavenny rung the changes with Dan Smith and Gareth Beavan replacing the centres, Rob Lothian and Ryan Morgan joining the front row, and Alan Rickards slotting into the back row.

As the game drew to a close Aber kept attacking and were able to add to their first-half tally with a try by Jacob Butler to make it 33-7 and a convincing win to get their season on track.

Abergavenny Quins travelled to NHSOB for their second game of the season and returned with a fine 19-0 victory, with tries scored by captain Joe Symonds and two by Alex Howes.

Next week Aber are away to Dowlais in the first round of the Swalec plate.

This promises to be a tough fixture so all support will be very much needed if they hope to emulate their cup run of last season.