CHANCES OPPORTUNITY AND BELIEF
Thirty minutes into the game, with a slender, Nathan Jones, penalty lead over top of the table Pwllheli, there was a mood of cautious optimism in the Cae Ddol dugout. Intelligent distribution from RGC’s Tom Seddon, being given rehabilitation game time as part of Ruthin’s commitment to regional rugby, found the Jones brothers punching mid-field holes in Pwllheli’s skilled defences. Ruthin dominated the scrum with good work from Jason Humphreys and Deian Williams. Only sheer pace and last ditch tackles kept Ruthin out. Good ball retention and patience sucked in defenders, created overlaps and there were chances to score 3 blue and white tries. At any level, you have to finish these, reference Wales in Murrayfield. Pwllheli were rattled!
It could have been 20-0 to the home team but ten minutes later the score was 17-3 to Pwllheli with tries from scrum half Butterworth and centre Williams converted by Osian Parry-Jones. Taking the opportunity provided by the yellow card departure of Mike Jones, a penalty to the 5m line was followed by a well drilled try-scoring driving maul. Pwllheli continued to capitalise on the opportunities provided by Ruthin mistakes to go 24 points up two minutes into the second-half.
The belief that had protected the Pwllheli’s whitewash for the half-hour in which Ruthin dominated was now realised. In the next 25 minutes Pwllheli scored every 7 minutes. Two tries from fly-half Pugh and a penalty from Parry-Jones took the score to 41-3. The result was assured but Ruthin continued to play with passion; there was no opening of the floodgates. They were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try when Pwllheli’s infringing white-tide defence prevented a sure score and resulted in a defending yellow card. On the forty second minute Pwllheli scored an unconverted breakaway try; final score 46-3.
“You are not a bad side” commented the Pwllheli coach Ian Lloyd Jones. “We are the finished article but you have a lot of potential” To achieve this Ruthin need to avoid relegation. Now 9th in the twelve-team league Ruthin are one point ahead of Bethesda and 4 in-front of COBRA.
Preparation, squad training and belief will determine how much this young team wants to seize this chance and to take the opportunity to realise the potential identified by Pwllhelii’s winning coach.
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