04 November 2017 / Club News

weekend round up 28&29/10


The Illts produced a stirring fightback to move through in the Swalec Bowl, with a 19-18 win over Usk on Saturday. The Illts played with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, but struggled to make the conditions count as the large visiting pack took control early on. The away side had plenty of large and willing runners and the Illts lacked the aggression to shut them down and spent the majority of the first half on the back foot. They were already trailing to an early penalty when they conceded a soft try with the visitors full back returning a kick 50 metres to score under the posts. A second try came after a strong Usk scrum created the space for the no 8 to break and release the flanker to score and make the score 15-0.


At this stage the odds on a home victory seemed long, but the Illts defence, so passive in the early stages was starting to get into its stride and they looked threatening when they moved the ball wide. Usk began to give away penalties under pressure, and a quick tap from Sparkle saw him release Dan Savager to cross in the corner, with Sean Cochlin converting brilliantly from the touch line to bring the score to 7-15.


Usk responded with a well organised driving lineout, and with a 5 metre scrum fancied their chances of a pushover try with their jumbo pack. This was arguably the key passage of the game with half time approaching, but the Illts scrum held firm and the visitors were eventually penalised and allowed the Illts to clear and reach half time.


The Illts upped the pace in the second half, despite being reduced to 14 when Leaman saw a harsh yellow for retaliation. Forced to run the ball against the wind, the Illts conjures a brilliant try, Phil “Retired with 3 kids” offloading to Maunder, who timed his pass perfectly to release Cochlin who showed great pace to run in and score from 60 metres, converting his own try to bring the home side within a point.


Usk gained a scrum penalty to stretch their lead to 4 points, but with the Illts were back to 15 and on the front foot. Maunder saw a try disallowed for a forward pass after a tremendous run from skipper Hiscocks, but the Illts had a penalty and weren’t to be denied, after waves of attacks were held out Cochlin danced through for his second try to put the Illts in front at 19-18.


Usk had a chance to win it with a difficult kick from out wide after the Illts were caught offside but the kick sailed wide. The Illts ran the clock down with a series of forward drives but after a spill the away side had one more chance to win the game, but the Illts scamble defence pushed the winger into touch, summing up the spirit the home side had shown. With a bye drawn on Tuesday the Illts are now into the last 16. They get back to league action with a trip to Pentrych on Saturday.


On Sunday the minis travelled to Llanishen, playing the hosts, Bargoed (U7 and U8) and Canton (U10). There were plenty of kids away with half term but the Illts played some great rugby across all the age groups. No game for the minis this week, training at Moorland Park Sunday as usual.


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