Treorchy RFC

The Zebras

El Toro Rugby Club Mallorca 7 - 18 Treorchy

24th May 2009 (report by Gareth Wilcox)

Treorchy Rugby Club have just returned from a successful end of season tour on the Balearic Island of Majorca . A Touring Party of 35 left the club in the wee small hours of Thursday, the 21st of May, and were based in the small, tranquil village of Magalluf .

After a few days of relaxing the team headed out to El Toro Rugby Club on Saturday evening to face a team made up of Argentineans, Portuguese, Spanish and English. In temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Treorchy struggled to come to terms with the heat and the astro turf surface early on, but, half way through the first half they made the breakthrough.

From a lineout on halfway, the Treorchy pack made headway into the El Toro 22 and released the backline. Centre Trystan Lazarus combined with Andrew Williams to create the overlap and a long pass from Andrew Mallin found its way to flanker Wayne Davies who scurried over in the corner.

From the kick off, good work from forwards Jamie Summers, Rhodri Jones and Chris John forced the El Toro back row to infringe and concede a penalty. Due to the earlier conversion being unsuccessful, captain for the day, Richard Shephard, took it on his own shoulders to take the kick and deftly slotted the penalty to extend Treorchy's lead to 8-0.

Injuries to Gafyn Lazarus and Daniel Rees caused a reshuffle in the Treorchy ranks at half time, during which the entertainment was supplied by club stalwarts David Joseph Jones and Greg Williams giving their own, enchanting version of the Riverdance.

10 minutes into the second half another surge upfield by Daniel Thorne resulted in outside half Celyn Ashton sending winger Robert Davies over in the corner with a huge, floated pass.

El Toro replied with a well worked try of their own which was successfully converted.

Treorchy were now tiring and made a few substitutions.  Replacement centre Adam John set off on a run from his own 22 that left numerous El Toro defenders in his wake.  When finally tackled, from the resultant ruck some lovely offloading between forwards and backs eventually found hooker Shaun Green and he sprinted over in the corner.

Treorchy defended well in the last 10 minutes and big tackles from Ben Hughes, Gareth Barker and Craig Payne kept El Torres at bay and the visitors ran out 18-7 victors.

The hosts layed on a post match barbecue and was enjoyed by all the touring party.  Thanks must go to organisers, Richard Shephard, Andrew Mallin, Tony Richards and Howard Lazarus, a fantastic time was had by all.

The players can now take a well earned rest after this season's Championship winning effort and can look forward to the challenge of Division 2 East next season with encouragement.

Nantymoel 6 - 17 Treorchy

6th May 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

In conditions more common to January than May, Treorchy completed their triumphant Division Three South East campaign with a hard fought victory away to Nantymoel.

Playing with the strong wind in the first half, Treorchy set about notching their 21st league win of the season, but found the home side’s aggressive defence difficult to break down, while the home side found it near enough impossible to escape their own half, but the score remained deadlocked until Trystan Lazarus capped an excellent personal season with a fine solo try.  The centre cut back to the poorly defended blind side as a back move broke down before chipping the full back and diving on the loose ball in goal for the five points.  From wide out, outside half Celyn Ashton failed with the extras, but the expectant travelling support were optimistic that the try would see the visitors push on for more tries before half time.  However, Treorchy found the Nantymoel pack difficult to break down and they duly thrived on the lack of discipline in the Zebras ranks and it was no surprise that the home side went into the break just two points adrift at 5-3 following a successful penalty attempt on the half hour mark.

Young second row Kyle Evans, son of former Treorchy second row Steve Evans, was impressive on debut as he picked off a number of Nant line outs, while showing off his athleticism around the field with ball in hand.  And it was his spoiling at the line out that saw a home lineout fall to scrum half Gareth Fear defending in the hooker channel.  Fear, with half the length of the field ahead of him, set off and just narrowly failed to score as the touch judge adjudicated him to be in touch as he was tackled by the covering defence.  However, the resulting line out was stolen and back row forward Daniel Thorne drove over for Treorchy’s second try and 100th try of the season.  From a difficult angle, Ashton added the extras, but within five minutes Nantymoel had reduced the arrears to 6-12 with a penalty of their own as the Zebras were reduced to 14 men as Chris John was given ten minutes.

Treorchy rode out the loss with the introduction of some fresh legs and sealed the victory as replacement hooker Shaun Green barged over from short range following an excellent move involving backs and forwards kick started by a direct run from replacement centre Adam John.  Ashton again narrowly missed with the conversion, but Treorchy were able to see out the remaining ten minutes to secure the 17-6 victory and pull the curtain on an excellent season for the Zebras.  A league season that saw just one defeat and contained 101 tries and 98 points and Treorchy now look forward to competing in Division Two East next season.

Treorchy: 15 Lee Stone (rep: Will Rose), 14 Dan Rees, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Andrew Williams (rep: Adam John), 11 Robert Davies,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus (rep: Shaun Green), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Kyle Evans, 5 Jamie Summers (capt), 6 Wayne Davies, 7 Ben Highes (rep: Gareth Barker), 8 Daniel Thorne.

Tries: Trystan Lazarus, Daniel Thorne, Shaun Green
Conversion: Celyn Ashton

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Treorchy 64 - 9 Llandaff North

2nd May 2009 (report by Gary Spiller & Carl Spiller)

Treorchy lifted their first trophy since 1994 with a comprehensive nine try demolition of Llandaff North at the Oval to clinch the Division Three South East title.

Congratulations to the coaches and backroom team for a hugely impressive season, one that’ll live long in the memories of all the hardy supporters, the majority of whom travel home and away every week.  But congratulations to the players, the majority of whom have come through the very successful junior and youth teams, including the 2004 Welsh Youth Cup winners.

Back to this title clinching match.  Early on it seemed as if the occasion had got to some of the Treorchy side as North were able to disrupt and compete, denying the usual continuity, but prolific outside half Celyn Ashton settled the nerves with another cool penalty, before North struck back with a penalty of their own.  However, after a quarter of an hour normal service was resumed for the Zebras who have overcome a glut of fixtures in recent weeks to hunt down Llantwit Fadre as they scored three tries before the break. First to score was hooker Shaun Green from a lineout from close range.  Trystan Lazarus continued his recent form to roar through a gap for his 16th try of the season before stalwart winger Peter Hutchings added the third.  The Treorchy pack have been impressive all season and special mention must again go to them as the front row of Chris John, Green and Jamie Maggs and Simon Collins were again disruptive, while second rows Daniel Thorne and Gareth Barker have gone about their work of carrying and hitting rucks quietly, but nevertheless impressively, while the back row, for which Treorchy are well blessed, were again a force at the breakdown with captain Jamie Summers impressive all season.  Can it have been this season that many of the supporters wondered at his change of position away to Aberdare, only to see him gallop over from 30 metres out from a scrum!  North struck back with a penalty just on the stroke of half time, but Treorchy were already looking clear with the title in their grasp.

While the first half was the tale of the contact area, the second half allowed the backs to show their stuff as six further tries were scored.  The floodgates were opened by lively scrum half Gareth Fear who has proved to be an excellent acquisition to the squad whose snipping runs has tied up back rows all season long, allowing the backs that bit of extra time and space.  Tries from club stalwart Lee Stone were well deserved for his commitment over the years, while youngster Lazarus collected his 17th try of the season, while young Craig Payne added a try of his own.  The prolific boot of Ashton slotted over all but one conversion and special thanks must go to him for the part he has played in the season, in particular his demonstration of goal kicking away to Llanishen when the wheels threatened to come off the Zebra bandwagon at one stage.

There was even time for the miss of the season as replacement centre Andrew Williams, who had just entered the fray, dropped the ball in the act of scoring as he celebrated early to howls of delight and derision in equal measure from the waves of supporters.  No matter though, as the resulting scrum was turned over and lively forward Rhodri Jones capped his excellent first full season by diving over to finish the game.

All that was left was for the WRU Director, Ray Wilton, to present the trophy to club captain Jamie Summers and for Vernon Lloyd, the player who’s been there through thick and thin, to lift the trophy and start the celebration, which lasted long into the night.  Treorchy complete their season in their final game on Wednesday as they travel to bottom club Nantymoel.

Treorchy: 15 Lee Stone, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John (rep: Andrew Williams), 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 James Maggs, 4 Daniel Thorne (rep: Rhodri Jones), 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Wayne Davies, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (2), Lee Stone (2), Shaun Green, Peter Hutchings, Rhodri Jones, Craig Payne, Gareth Fear
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (8)
Penalty: Celyn Ashton

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Treorchy 26 - 10 St Peters

25th April 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Still needing two wins from the final three fixtures and after finally overcoming Llantwit Fardre after such a long chase, Treorchy's bogey side St Peters were perhaps not the team that would have been at the top of the list in terms of favoured opposition to overcome in order to cement their place at the top of the league.  But such are the nuances of the fixture list that it was the Rocks who travelled up to the Oval last Saturday to face a Treorchy XV without pivotal half backs Gareth Fear and Celyn Ashton.

Despite Treorchy playing their 6th game in 14 days and facing the strong wind blowing up the valley in the first half, they started the stronger, with the Treorchy back three particularly dangerous running the ball back from some aimless St Peters kicking.  However, it was the Rocks who opened the scoring as a melee in midfield saw a penalty to the visitors and a second yellow card in three days for centre Jamie John.  Treorchy responded almost immediately however and captain and number eight Jamie Summers drove over from a scrum five.  For the second time in a week Treorchy then found themselves down to 13 men when Vernon Lloyd was rather harsh yellow carded for an apparent late hit.  John was almost immediately called back onto the field and Treorchy overcame the man deficit a second time to record their second try as a long pass, as part of a training ground Rocks back move, drifted considerable on the wind to fall perfectly into the hands of Trystan Lazarus who sprinted over unopposed.  Outside half Lee Stone added the extras and Treorchy saw out the remainder of the half to go into half 12-3 to the good with the tight five forwards impressing again along with young debutant scrum half Stefan Jones.

With the wind at their back in the second half, many supporters were hoping for another try fest to go with some of the recent outstanding performances, but the excellent St Peters back row were making quick recycling difficult and the busy recent schedule was having a clear impact on what was appearing a leggy Treorchy pack.  However with the win now more important than the try count and with a particularly violent hail storm making an already wet pitch, particularly treacherous, Treorchy were happy to dominate territory via the superb boot of Stone and he duly converted three simple penalties to his earlier conversion.  On the hour mark Treorchy killed the game as the excellent Lazarus grabbed his second opportunist try of the game as a well weighted chip ahead from a back move allowed the centre to pick and score near the touchline.  Stone struck the crossbar with the conversion attempt, but at 26-3, the points looked secure.

St Peters refused to give up and continued to disrupt the breakdown and were rewarded with a penalty try from a collapsed scrum on the Treorchy line, but the final whistle blew with Treorchy victorious 26-10 knowing that a win in their next fixture at home to Llandaff North on Saturday 2nd May will see them crowned as champions.  Kick off is at 2.30pm.

Treorchy: 15 Craig Payne, 14 Robert Davies, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Lee Stone, 9 Steffan Jones.  1 Chris John (rep: Simon Collins), 2 Shaun Green, 3 James Maggs, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Wayne Davies), 7 Rhodri Jones, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (2), Jamie Summers
Conversions: Lee Stone
Penalties: Lee Stone (3)

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Treorchy 41 - 8 Llantwit Fardre

22nd April 2009 (report by Gary Spiller)

The top two in Division Three South East finally came head to head in last Wednesday's winner takes all contest in front of a large and expectant crowd at the Oval.  And following another efficient bonus point victory for the Zebras, the majority went home with delight etched over their faces as Treorchy made a significant step towards clinching promotion and the league title.

Having played so many catch up games over recent weeks (Llantwit being their fourth game in eleven days), Treorchy once more rotated their strong squad and those changes were immediately rewarded when after just five minutes the rejigged backrow created an overlap for stalwart winger Peter Hutchings to touch down under the posts.  Outside half Celyn Ashton added the simple extras and a few minutes later Wayne Davies, playing out of position on the openside, beat two tackles to score again under the sticks.  Ashton again added the conversion to push Treorchy out into an early 14 point lead.

The Zebras' quick start had rattled Llantwit Fardre who now began to force miracle passes, carrying possession from all parts of the field.  Their endeavour wasn't rewarded as Treorchy's defence held firm with just a missed penalty opportunity for the visitors to show for their efforts.  One of the very few advantages of having so many games cancelled during the bad weather, is that the rearranged fixtures are invariably played at the end of the season on the much firmer pitches and it is no coincidence that lively centre Trystan Lazarus was again instrumental with ball in hand and minutes before the interval he extended the lead after making another effortless break in midfield to add to his growing collection of recent weeks.  Ashton again added the conversion and the 21 - 0 half time score was scant reward for Llantwit's effort but demonstrated perfectly Treorchy's opportunism, efficiency and ruthlessness with the utility back Lee Stone the personification of composure at full back.

Llantwit started the second half with renewed energy going through the phases in Treorchy's 22, before evergreen back row forward Vernon Lloyd used his experience to take a yellow card for the team by killing the ball when a Llantwit try looked inevitable.  The penalty was converted to give the travelling support a glimmer of hope, but this hope was however soon dampened as Lazarus collected his second try, capitalising on some calamitous defending of a high ball by the visitors.  Ashton successfully made it 28-3.

As Treorchy were about to return to a full compliment a minor fracas saw young centre Jamie John shown a yellow as Treorchy were reduced to 13 men for the second time this season...both times against Llantwit.  In an attempt to shore up the midfield, Treorchy moved flanker Rhodri Jones into the centres, but the visitors capitalised on the reduced scrum defence, as Greg Williams showed his pace to race over in the corner.

Treorchy, however, were in no mood to blow their hard earned position of strength and following the introduction of regular tight head prop Simon Collins (following another impressive shift from young Jamie Maggs), alongside Chris John and Shaun Green, the Treorchy scrum led the way in slowly dominating their opponents, with the work rate and physicality of the back row also catching the eye.  In addition to yet another immaculate kicking display from floor and hand, the final word was left quite aptly to Man of the Match Celyn Ashton as the young outside half displayed his strength to go over for a five pointer of his own before he added two further penalty kicks as the contest ended with a comprehensive 41-8 victory to the Zebras.

After chasing Llantwit for the majority of the season, Treorchy now sit proudly on top the table for the first and most important time of the season.  With the Zebras also holding a game in hand and requiring eight points from their final three fixtures, it is now Llantwit who look the more likely team to be forced to enter the lottery of a play-off.

Treorchy: 15 Lee Stone, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 James Maggs (rep: Simon Collins), 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Wayne Davies, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (2), Peter Hutchings, Celyn Ashton, Wayne Davies
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (5)
Penalties: Celyn Ashton (2)

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Old Illtydians 7 - 47 Treorchy

18th April 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy maintained their push for promotion from Division Three South East with bonus point victory away to Old Illtydians in a feisty fixture at the Eastern Leisure Centre, last Saturday.

Despite playing up the hill and into the wind in the first half, Old Illtydians started the brighter and should have opened the scoring from a penalty kick as Treorchy suffered on the penalty count in the early exchanges.  The kick narrowly missed and Treorchy very slowly began to assert some control up front with their pick and drive play.  For the benefit of those who haven't been to the Eastern Leisure Centre, the pitch is narrow.  So narrow in fact, that space was at an absolute premium in the opening exchanges, but an exquisite chip from outside half Celyn Ashton running onto a flat pass caught the home defence flat and the speed of Trystan Lazarus saw the young centre in for the try.  Ashton continued his return good form with the boot to add the extras from near the touchline.  From the restart Treorchy continued to suffer the wrath of the referee as prop Chris John was sin binned for an off the ball obstruction.  Old Illtydians failed to secure the ball from the resulting attacking line out and minutes later the referee awarded a free kick to the visitors at a scrum on half way.  Gareth Fear's quick tap caught the home side napping and the lively scrum half stepped the full back to sprint in to score beneath the posts.  Ashton again added the extras as Treorchy broke clear 14-0.

With the boot of Ashton dominating territory, and the impressive Treorchy pack turning the screw, space was beginning to appear in the backs and after barely a quarter of the game Treorchy recorded their third try as the superb Lazarus collected his second try of the match as he ghosted around his opposite number to score in the corner.  Ashton again added the extras superbly and on the cusp of half time and with a return to a full compliment, Treorchy secured the bonus point as the dangerous Lazarus almost broke through a gap again, but his neat off load allowed full back Lee Stone in at the corner.  Ashton again added the conversion as the half time whistle blew with Treorchy in total command at 28-0.

With the wind and slope now in favour of the home side the game was not yet over, but an uncompromising ten minutes from the visiting Zebras ended the game as a contest as the home side began to slip off tackles.  Despite setting up camp in the Old Illtydians twenty two, the Zebras had to wait until the 50th minute for their fifth try as some superb offloading from the back row saw second row Daniel Thorne in for the score.  Ashton again converted.

To their credit the home side refused to throw in the towel and on the hour mark they scored a converted try of their own, but Treorchy replied with two tries in quick succession to kill the game.  First scrum half Fear notched his second try of the match from an attacking scrum and then moments later a break from wing Peter Hutchings broke into the home side's twenty-two before some neat hands from the supporting backs allowed the outstanding Ashton to add a five pointer to his tally of kicks.  Inevitably he converted his try from the corner as he finished with a personal tally of 17 points as Treorchy ran out comprehensive 47-7 winners.

Next up for Treorchy is the season defining fixture as they play host to Division Three South East leaders Llantwit Fardre on Wednesday.  The game kicks off at 6.30pm with the Zebras aiming to go top the table for the first time this season.

Treorchy: 15 Lee Stone, 14 Robert Davies, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John (rep: Matthew Williams), 2 Gafyn Lazarus (rep: Shaun Green), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Jamie Summers (capt), 6 Wayne Davies (rep: Vernon Lloyd), 7 Ben Hughes, 8 Rhodri Jones.

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (2), Gareth Fear (2), Celyn Ashton, Lee Stone, Daniel Thorne
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (6)

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Tylorstown 6 - 15 Treorchy

15th April 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy moved to within two points of Division Three South East leaders Llantwit Fardre, with a game still in hand, following a hard fought victory in the local derby with Tylorstown at Penrhys Park last Wednesday evening.

Treorchy dominated the early territory and duly eeked out a 6-0 lead courtesy of the reliable boot of Celyn Ashton, but found the narrow pitch restrictive in their pursuit of tries and the possible bonus point. As a result the composure and discipline was effected and the referee's whistle was the most prominent factor in a dour first half and on the stroke of half time a yellow card to Treorchy flanker Vernon Lloyd allowed Tylie outside half Julian Pike to slot over his second penalty to take the teams into the half time break level.

Treorchy retook the lead early in the second half thanks to a third penalty from Ashton, but the forward dominated battle continued with Treorchy marginally in the ascendency with the young Treorchy front row again superb at scrum time against their much more experienced opponents, while replacement back rower Wayne Davies impressed following his introduction.  Despite their superiority, the visiting supporters had to wait until the final ten minutes before they were able to breathe more easily as Ashton slotted over two further penalties to push the Zebras to a 15-6 victory.

Treorchy's next fixture sees them face Cardiff side Old Illtydians away on Saturday where they will be looking to maintain the pressure on Llantwit.

Treorchy: 15 Lee Stone, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John , 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John , 2 Shaun Green, 3 Jamie Maggs, 4 Rhodri Jones (rep: Wayne Davies), 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd, 7 Daniel Thorne, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Penalties: Celyn Ashton (5)

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Treorchy 71 - 3 Brecon

11th April 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Almost a year to the day a jaded and deflated Treorchy deservedly lost to an enterprising Brecon side in what was the last home defeat for the Zebras in a typical end of season contest.  Fast forward 12 months and while most spectators could have been forgiven for assuming that last Saturday’s Division Three South East fixture between Treorchy and Brecon would be the same type of attritional contest that the two teams had already played out this season (the second courtesy of the abandonment of the first), nothing could have been further from the truth as Treorchy displayed the difference a year can make and the motivational factor of a championship to play for as they produced one of the most complete and ruthless performances that the Oval faithful have seen in many a long day as Brecon were sent home having conceded ten tries in a comprehensive defeat.

Strange as it may sound, it was Brecon who started the quicker as the home side struggled to adjust to the referees interpretation of the ruck laws which favoured the offensive team, and were lucky not to be two penalties down before the visitors opened the scoring from the boot of full back Andrew Baldwin.  Baldwin missed a fourth chance minutes later, but on 16 minutes Treorchy finally asserted themselves on the contest.  A deliberate infringement beneath their own posts cost Brecon a forward for ten minutes and with the Treorchy scrum well on top anyway (courtesy of a stunning debut from tight head Jamie Maggs alongside the more experienced youngsters of Chris John and Shaun Green), the decision to go for the scrum seemed justified despite being behind on the scoreboard.  However, instead of going for the push over with the Brecon scrum retreating, an 8, 9 move exploited the scrumagging Brecon back row and a miss pass saw winger Craig Payne in for the score.  Ashton added the extras and immediately slotted over a penalty to push the Zebras into a seven point lead before Treorchy stamped their authority on the game with two tries within five minutes from the exceptional captain Jamie Summers, both following some patient phase play in the Brecon twenty-two before Summers made of the most of some defensive mis-matches to barge over.  Ashton added both conversions to push Treorchy out into a comfortable 24-3 lead at halftime.

With the slight wind now in Treorchy’s favour, Brecon needed to produce something special, but instead the bonus point was secured for the home side within two minutes of the restart with a superb team try as the work of the Treorchy’s front five in clearing quick ball allowed scrum half Gareth Fear and outside half Ashton to exploit the gaps in the retreating Brecon defence and after a great short angle run from the superb hooker Shaun Green sucked in the Brecon defence, flanker Vernon Lloyd was able to drive over for the fourth try of the game.  Ashton again added the extras in what for him would be a superb afternoon with the boot as he missed just one kick at goal from 11 in amassing a personal tally of 21 points.  Given the time it took the visitors to make the half way line for the restart, their game looked done and so it proved as a further six tries were added in the second half with man of the match Summers notching up two more tries to go with his hat trick from the week before, along with tries for Ben Hughes, Jamie John, Wayne Davies and a second for Craig Payne as Treorchy ran riot running the ball from everywhere with the excellent Trystan Lazarus the fulcrum causing chaos in the Brecon midfield defence with his strong outside running.

Treorchy next travel to Tylorstown on Wednesday evening (kick off 6.30) as they look to maintain the pressure on leaders Llantwit Fardre in one of their games in hand.

Treorchy: 15 Andrew Mallin (rep: Lee Stone), 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John , 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John , 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Jamie Maggs, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Rhodri Jones), 6 Vernon Lloyd, 7 Ben Hughes (rep: Wayne Davies), 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Jamie Summers (4), Craig Payne (2), Vernon Lloyd, Ben Hughes, Jamie John, Wayne Davies
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (9)
Penalty: Celyn Ashton

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Fairwater 21 - 45 Treorchy

4th April 2009

Treorchy:
15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Craig Payne (rep: Robert Davies), 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John , 11 Peter Hutchings,  10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear (rep: Lee Stone).  1 Chris John , 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Jamie Maggs, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Wayne Davies, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries:
 Jamie Summers (3), Craig Payne, Trystan Lazarus, Celyn Ashton, Wayne Davies
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (5)

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Treorchy 26 - 12 Penarth

28th March 2009

Treorchy: 15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Celyn Ashton, 11 Jamie John (rep: Andrew Williams),  10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John , 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 4 Rhodri Jones (rep: Wayne Davies), 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Ben Hughes), 6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Vernon Lloyd, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries:
 Craig Payne (2)
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (2)
Penalties: Celyn Ashton (3)
Drop Goal: Celyn Ashton

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Treorchy 47 - 7 Nantymoel

14th March 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy moved to within 5 points of Swalec Division Three South East leaders Llantwit Fardre on Saturday as they comprehensively overcame bottom of the table side Nantymoel at the Oval.

In excellent conditions for running rugby, Treorchy comprehensively outplayed a spirited Nantymoel team thanks to a superb forward display typified by the excellent work of second row Rhodri Jones and open side flanker Ben Hughes and another dominant display from the young front row of Chris John, Shaun Green and Simon Collins.  The star of the show, however, was lively scrum half Gareth Fear who lit up the Oval with a stunning hat-trick which included a length of the field move involving backs and forwards to open the scoring.

With conditions perfect, and tries the order of the day, Treorchy dominated the early exchanges, but where forced to go into halftime with just three tries to their credit.  The other five pointers coming courtesy of Peter Hutchings and Captain and number eight Jamie Summers the recipient of a push over try.

With the bonus point of utmost priority, Treorchy made no error in rattling up a further four tries in the second half as Fear completing his hat trick and Hutchings and Summers bagged a further try a-piece.  With Celyn Ashton slotting over five conversions, the score ended 45-7 to the home side in a one sided, but very open contests, increasing the pressure on Llantwit. (Note: WRU website has score at 47-7 - extra 2 points attributed to another conversion by Celyn Ashton)

Treorchy's next fixture on Friday night as the young Zebras travel to local rivals Tylorstown in yet another rearranged fixture.  Another bonus point win would see the Zebras pull level with leaders Llantwit Fardre with the home fixture between the two still to play.  Kick off is scheduled for 7.15pm.



Treorchy: 15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Jamie John, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Celyn Ashton, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Lee Stone (rep: Andrew Williams), 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John (rep: Jamie Maggs), 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Wayne Davies), 7 Ben Hughes, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries:
 Gareth Fear (3), Peter Hutchings (2), Jamie Summers (2)
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (6)

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Llanishen 16 - 23 Treorchy

7th March 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy maintained their pursuit of Division Three South East leaders Llantwit Fardre with a hard fought win over third placed team Llanishen in difficult conditions last Saturday. 

Despite a strong collective effort from the Zebras,
the win was aided by an outstanding example of goal kicking from Celyn Ashton whose modest personal tally of 13 points was worth much more in the context of the game given the difficult cross wind and the difficult positions of his kicks.

It was Ashton who opened the scoring slotting over an impressive penalty kick from just inside the Llanishen half after four minutes, but Llanishen struck back almost immediately with an unconverted try in the corner from prop Denis Pugh following a superb break from the live-wire Llanishen outside half Gareth Jones.  Ashton and Jones traded penalties in a even and physical forward battle before Llanishen recorded their second unconverted try in the opposite corner from centre Rhodri Thomas following a period of pressure in the Treorchy twenty-two.

Seven points behind at half time, Treorchy began the second half with a tremendous spell of pressure on the Llanishen line and they signalled their intent by turning down shots at goal in favour of attacking line outs, but the excellent Llanishen defence, ably supported by some woeful Treorchy discipline, allowed the home side to clear their lines time after time.  With the time ticking away and Treorchy getting more and more desperate they finally managed the breakthrough as full back Andrew Mallin scored in the corner following a neat break and offload in midfield.  From the touchline and with the wind picking up, Ashton struck a stunning conversion to level the scores and within a minutes of the restart, Ashton then nudged Treorchy into the lead with another superb kick from mid way inside the Llanishen half.

Treorchy scrum half Gareth Fear looked dangerous all afternoon and almost capped his return from suspension with a stunning solo try following a scrum on half way.  However, he was tackled into touch inches short.  From the resulting line out, a knock on from the home side allowed Zebra prop Chris John the easiest of scores.  From the other touchline, Ashton again slotted over the extras as Treorchy took a ten point lead with ten minutes remaining.  Llanishen threw everything at Treorchy and with three minutes remaining on the clock, Jones added a second penalty of his own to reduce Treorchys lead to seven points, but Treorchys excellent defence was able to keep the home side at bay to see out the final whistle and record the hard fought win in a bruising encounter.

Next Saturday, the Zebras will look to maintain the pressure on Llantwit Fardre as they play bottom club Nantymoel at the Oval in a rearranged fixture.  Supporters are urged to note that the game kicks off at 12.30pm in advance of the Wales Italy fixture which of course kicks off at 3pm.

Treorchy: 15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Robert Davies, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Celyn Ashton, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Rhodri Jones, 8 Jamie Summers.

Tries:
 Andrew Mallin, Chris John
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (2)
Penalties: Celyn Ashton (3)

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Brecon 17 - 20 Treorchy

28th February 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy travelled to the Parc De Pugh last Saturday to face Brecon in a Swalec Division Three South East league fixture. 

The previous game between the sides proved controversial as Brecon were quite obvious in their time wasting following the injury to their own scrum half Rob Price to force an abandonment thanks to an ultimatum to the referee in the gathering gloom.  And it was this history between the sides which was obvious as both teams flew into each other in the early exchanges, but as in the abandoned game Treorchy struck first and early as a fantastic back move resulted in wing Robert Scott Davies scoring in the corner.

Treorchy’s early dominance also resulted in a penalty kick from Celyn Ashton, but two quick penalties from Brecon saw them claw the gap back and an overthrown lineout from the visitors was won at the back by Brecon, the ball was shipped quickly to right wing Eurin Morgan who showed some excellent footwork and speed to stand up his opposite winger before stepping the covering defence to score a wonderful individual try.  The conversion was missed, but Brecon had recovered superbly to lead 11-8 following 20 minutes of riveting rugby.  Both teams exchanged penalties in the final quarter of the first half as Brecon slowly began to take control of the contact area, allowing their defence to snuff out the danger posed by Treorchy’s midfield, but on the stroke of halftime a half break from Celyn Ashton set up a penalty on the Brecon line.  With the referee indicating last play of the half, Treorchy wisely chose to take the easy three points on offer and Ashton duly obliged to take the teams into the half time break 14 all.

The second half saw Treorchy forced to weather a territorial and physical storm from the home side as they threw quite literally every part of their body into the contact area with three Treorchy player’s all suffering from head injuries at one time.  Despite the onslaught and the dazed players, Treorchy’s defence stood firm and Brecon only managed to take the lead as the clock ticked into the 70th minute as Dan Edwards slotted his fourth successful penalty of the afternoon.  Ironically it cam against the run of play after a spell of pressure from the visitors had been thwarted by the excellent Brecon defence.  However Celyn Ashton responded to level the scores within a minute as the ref awarded the visitors a penalty from the resulting restart.

With the clock ticking down to full time, both sides appeared edgy, but a game breaking clearance kick from Ashton forced Brecon back into their own twenty two.  From the resulting line out, an ambitious chip from outside half Edwards resulted in a penalty to the Zebras as Brecon open side Isaac Greer chased from an offside position.  With just two minutes of normal time to go, Celyn Ashton poked Treorchy back into the lead 20-17, in the process exorcising the ghost of a miss form a similar position at the very same end in a league fixture a few years ago.

But there was time remaining.  In fact there was a lot of time remaining as the game continued into the eighth minutes of extra time as the referee awarded Brecon a penalty just inside the Treorchy half near the centre spot.  Instead of going for the posts, Brecon centre Paul Williams suddenly tapped and went as the ref told him there was no time for the line out.  A couple of phases later, the ref penalised the home side for holding on in the tackle and Treorchy had finally, after 160 minutes of play, recorded the win in an epic encounter.

The win further cements Treorchy’s strong position in second place and next week Treorchy travel to Llanishen as they keep up the pressure on leaders Llantwit Fardre.


Treorchy:  15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Robert Davies, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Lee Stone.  1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Jamie Summers (capt), 5 Gareth Barker,  6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Wayne Davies , 8  Rhodri Jones (rep Ben Hughes).

Try: Robert Davies
Penalties: Celyn Ashton (5)

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Llantwit Fardre 15 - 0 Treorchy

31st February 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy lost their unbeaten record in Division Three South East as they fell short in the clash between the last unbeaten teams away to Llantwit Fardre in a highly physical encounter.

Treorchy began quickly and were given an early penalty opportunity, only for ill discipline to result in a reversal, which seconds later, the home side had turned into three points thanks to a second moment of ill discipline as Llantwit scrum half Carl Thomas opened the scoring.  Playing into the strong wind in the first half, Treorchy found their attempts to get quick ruck ball halted by some home hands and seemingly without warning the referee suddenly lost patience and despatched open side flanker Greg Williams to the sin bin.  However, Treorchy full back Celyn Ashton narrowly failed with a penalty attempt, but with a man advantage and a scrum that had been getting on top with a full compliment, things were looking bright for the visitors.

With a man less in the pack, Llantwit chose to move the ball away from the forwards and took advantage of the strong wind to push Treorchy back into the corners and some poor decision making from the back three led to counter attack deep in their own territory resulting in turn over ball and a long pass out to Llantwit left wing Andrew Webb gave him the five pointer.  Thomas just failed with the conversion attempt, but Llantwit had struck a vital blow by scoring while down a man which saw them hold out the remaining sin bin time without conceding.

Within two minutes of the home side returning to full compliment, Treorchy received not just one yellow of their own, but two as Jamie Summers was first yellowed for a punch at a maul and flanker Wayne Davies harshly yellowed for getting himself tangled up on the wrong side of a ruck despite his obvious attempts to wriggle out.  In a tight game, such a development was always going to be significant and the Treorchy scrum, the one area of dominance for either side prior to the flurry of yellow cards, was neutralised, but with five minutes remaining in the half, Treorchy defended superbly to hold on as Llantwit looked to kill the game off.

At the interval, Llantwit chose to return to the changing room and make use of the maximum time allowed, and the decision seemed to work as they started the second half strongly looking to make use of the last few minutes before Treorchy regained their full compliment, but the visitors defence held out.  But with just moments left on the sin bin clock, Llantwit second row Tony Davies benefited from some poor Treorchy defence to charge over from the twenty-two to score under posts.  Thomas added the extras to push the home side into a commanding 15-0 lead just as the Zebras were re-united with their extra two players.

With the strong wind at the backs of the Zebras and thirty five minutes left to play, the game looked far from over, but a combination of the excellent Llantwit defence and the space found by the kicking of outside half Michael Thomas, allied with the disciplined chase, Treorchy found it difficult to gain a foothold in the home sides territory, while Thomas was also a threat with ball in hand as he dictating the tempo of the second half.  Treorchy would also be disappointed as their skill levels at times let them down in promising attacking positions.

Treorchy refused to give up in a hugely physical battle but in a game of little goal line action, the missed tackle and turn over which led to the two Llantwit tries was to prove the difference as the home sides fitter forwards kept the Zebras at arms length to record the win and move five points clear of the visitors.  But with a game in hand and with the rematch to play at the Treorchy Oval, Treorchy are far from out of the title challenge and will look to overcome their disappointment when they travel to Tylorstown on Friday 13th February to play one of their rearranged games.

Treorchy:  15 Celyn Ashton, 14 Daniel Rees (rep: Trystan Lazarus), 13 Jamie John, 12 Adam John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Daniel Thorne (rep: Rhodri Jones), 5 Gareth Barker,  6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Wayne Davies, 8  Jamie Summers (capt).

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Treorchy 29 - 3 Tylorstown

24th January 2009 (report by Carl Spiller)

With one game still in hand, Treorchy moved to within one point of leaders Llantwit Fardre with a comfortable win over local rivals Tylorstown in the Division Three South East Rhondda derby last Saturday at the Treorchy Oval.

Treorchy’s supporters will have remembered last season’s fixture at the Oval where a dominant front row performance from the Tigers allowed the visitors to register a comfortable victory.  Twelve months on, the boot was well and truly on the other foot as the young Treorchy front row of Chris John, Shaun Green and Simon Collins provided the basis for another bonus point victory for the Zebras with an influential afternoon’s work.  However, it was the visitors who settled quickest, and were unfortunate not to go ahead as the usually excellent kicking of Julian Pike this time let him down as he hooked a relatively straight forward shot at goal inside two minutes.

Treorchy opened the scoring after ten minutes as a dominant scrum allowed number eight and Captain Jamie Summers to break into the Tylie twenty two.  The initial attack was stopped, but some neat hands allowed wing Peter Hutchings to dive over in the corner for his 50th league try, in the process drawing level with Jason Riggs as the club’s record league try scorer.  From the touchline, full back Celyn Ashton slotted over a superb conversion.  Within five minutes, Treorchy had notched up their second try as again the dominant scrum allowed captain Summers to break the gain line, this time the overlap was exploited and outside half Andrew Mallin was able to add the five pointer.  Ashton narrowly failing to add the extras on this occasion, but Tylorstown looked in trouble as they fell behind 12-0.

Treorchy’s momentum was halted, however as the game degenerated into a stop start affair with the referee happy to blow for scrums rather than let the rucks develop.  While the dangerous straight running of Pike was the only bright spark for Tylorstown, but it was his boot that drew the Tigers back into the game as he slotted over a penalty to take the teams into half time 12-3 to the Zebras.

Treorchy began the second half the stronger and were rewarded with their third try soon after the restart as another retreating Tylorstown scrum ended up in Daniel Thorne pouncing on the loose ball beneath the sticks.  Ashton added the routine extras and form the restart added a penalty to push Treorchy out into a 22-3 lead.  And within minutes the fourth try and bonus point was secured as a well worked back move allowed centre Jamie John to dive over under the posts.  Ashton again added the extras as Treorchy took an unassailable 29-3 lead.

With the bonus point secured and the match looking over with half an hour still to play, Tylorstown suddenly sprang into life and dominated territory for the remainder of the game as they disrupted the Treorchy line out and competed more at the breakdown.  Treorchy refused to allow the visitors back in to the game and with some excellent goal line defence kept the visitors at bay but inevitably the final word went to the young front row who disrupted two Tylorstown attacking scrum fives as the game ticked into injury time to keep their try line intact. 

Next weekend Treorchy travel to leaders Llantwit Fardre in what promises to be an epic battle of the division’s two unbeaten sides.

Treorchy:  15 Celyn Ashton (rep: Andrew Williams), 14 Daniel Rees, 13 Jamie John, 12 Adam John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Daniel Thorne, 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Rhodri Jones),  6 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Ben Hughes), 7 Wayne Davies , 8  Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Peter Hutchings, Andrew Mallin, Daniel Rees, Jamie John
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (3)
Penalty: Celyn Ashton

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Treorchy 24 - 3 Aberdare

17th January 2009 (report by Gary Spiller)

After two weeks without rugby following the recent cold weather, Treorchy eagerly welcomed Aberdare to a blustery Oval last Saturday in their attempt to maintain their 100% record in Division Three South East.

The game didn’t start brightly for the home side as Aberdare, playing into the strong wind, settled quickly and took an early lead with a simple penalty.  When Treorchy did settle it didn’t take long for evergreen scrum half Lee Stone and outside half Andrew Mallin to take advantage of the quick ball secured by Treorchy’s young pack and the Zebra’s opened their account with a try from wing Dan Rees who wriggled over in corner for his first league try for the club.  A second soon followed as centre Adam John jinked his way under the posts capping a fine midfield move and on the stroke of half time Mallin, switching blind, looked to have settle the game with the team’s third try as he touched down in the other corner.

The change of ends saw Aberdare gain a second wind and with the blustery conditions now in their favour, were able to dominate territory for large parts of the half.  But some superb defence from the Zebras kept their line intact and the all important bonus point was secured with a fine solo try from the outstanding forward Rhodri Jones.

However, the games finest moment came when tight head prop Simon Collins wreaked havoc on the Aberdare pack with a rampaging charge only to fall short of the deserved score when attempting a Maori sidestep at the end of a 40 yard run.

A tough day's work for a home side short of match practice, but a thoroughly rewarding victory for the young Treorchy team who maintained their 100% league record and in the process notched another important bonus point.  With unbeaten leaders Llantwit Fardre also registering a bonus point win, Treorchy will look to close the gap on the leaders as they play one of their games in hand against local rivals Tylorstown before the Zebras travel to Llantwit Fardre at the end of the month.

Treorchy:
  15 Peter Hutchings, 14 Jamie John, 13 Adam John, 12 Andrew Williams (rep: Robert Davies), 11 Daniel Rees, 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Daniel Thorne),  6 Vernon Lloyd , 7 Wayne Davies (rep: Ben Hughes), 8  Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Adam John, Daniel Rees, Andrew Mallin, Rhodri Jones
Conversions: Lee Stone (2)

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St Peters 10 - 27 Treorchy

27th December 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy maintained their perfect league start with their 7th league win away to bogey side St Peters on Saturday, duly collecting their 6th winning bonus point in the process.

Playing into the strong wind in the first half, Treorchy countered the conditions by showing some impeccable skills and commitment in keeping the ball in hand, to territorially dominate the early exchanges.  But the strength of the wind was evident for all to see as outside half Celyn Ashton missed an early penalty attempt as the ball even failed to reach the posts from just outside the home sides twenty two.  Treorchy deservedly took the lead mid way through the half as winger Craig Payne collected his first league try for the senior XV as he dived on a grubber in the corner.  From the touchline, it came as no surprise as the otherwise prodigious boot of Ashton again failed to reach the posts.

The try appeared to spur the home side into action and, thanks to the wind, were able to finally exert some territorial pressure and, after a penalty attempt hit an upright, centre Luke Gaffney barged over from short range following a sustained period of pressure on the Treorchy goal line.  From just to the right of the posts, Gaffney added the extras to take St Peters out into a 7-5 lead after half an hour.

The lead lasted barely 90 seconds as the impressive Treorchy scrum half Gareth Fear superbly picked up on the run to dive over under the posts following an opportunistic kick and chase.  Ashton added the extras, but St Peters ended a frantic four minutes by adding a second Gaffney penalty as Treorchy took a slender two point lead into the half time interval having also weathered a yellow card to second row Gareth Barker for a late hit.

With the wind, Treorchy, and in particular their impressive pack, led by the scrummaging of the young front row, took total control of the contest as Ashton and full back Andrew Mallin kept the game deep in St Peters territory and within ten minutes of the restart, Peter Hutchings was on hand to score the Zebras third try from a rolling maul.

The game was over as a contest after an hour as full back Mallin jinked and stretched his way over for the bonus point try.  From beneath the posts, Ashton added the extras to push Treorchy out into an unassailable 27-10 lead.  There was one final twist in the tail as with less than ten minutes remaining, the superb Gareth Fear was red carded for swearing.  Treorchy reverted to no risk rugby and ended the game as a spectacle as they ground down the home sides last remnants of resistance with some dominant and destructive scrummaging.  For the hardy travelling Treorchy support with memories of fruitless trips to the Harlequins Ground and taunts of Burberry factory closures, there was no sweeter sight!

With leaders Llantwit Fardre also unbeaten this season, the Division Three South East table now sees three teams breaking away with the Zebras six points behind leaders Llantwit, but with two games in hand, while Brecon are third a further five points adrift, while having also played more games than anyone else in the whole division.  The Zebras will look to maintain their run as they entertain Llandaff North at the Oval on Saturday 3rd January.  KO 2.30pm.

Treorchy:  15 Andrew Mallin, 14 Craig Payne (rep: Ben Hughes), 13 Jamie John, 12 Andrew Williams, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Jamie Summers (capt), 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Vernon Lloyd, 8 Rhodri Jones (rep: Wayne Davies).

Tries: Craig Payne, Gareth Fear, Peter Hutchings, Andrew Mallin
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (2)
Penalty: Celyn Ashton

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Tondu 20 - 15 Treorchy

20th December 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchys unbeaten start to the season was finally ended on Saturday as they fell agonisingly short in a hugely physical Swalec 4th round cup game away to Division Three South West leaders Tondu.

Despite playing up the not inconsiderable slope in the first half, Treorchy settled immediately and opened the scoring with a try from blind side winger Andrew Mallin following an impressive rolling line out in just the second minute.  Outside half Celyn Ashton superbly added the extras from the touchline and slotted over a further penalty to open up an early 10-0 lead after just eight minutes.  Tondu, backed by their vociferous support, suddenly sprang to life as the impressive Tondu full back Dean Thomas began to create openinings with his powerful running and it was Thomas who claimed Tondus first points with a penalty after fifteen minutes.

In a swirling wind with appeared to favour a different team on each different side of the pitch, Tondu forced a line out just outside the Treorchy twenty-two and a set piece move allowed the Tondu scrum half to cut through the body of the line out before feeding his open side flanker to dive over under the posts.  Thomas added the extras to draw the game level.

Within minutes, Tondu had regained the territorial advantage and full back Thomas showed some superb vision to take a quick tap from a penalty that Treorchy had turned their back on assuming it would be aimed at goal, to force the try in the corner.  Thomas added the conversion and slotted over a second penalty a few minutes later as Treorchy (not helped their own cause with their ill-discipline and failure to make two consecutive ten metre restarts) allowed Tondu to turn a ten point deficit into a ten point lead in just twenty minutes of rugby.  However, Treorchy regained their composure, turning down a couple of kickable penalties in favour of attacking line outs, to see flanker Daniel Thorne drove over for his sides second try.  This time from the touchline, Ashton narowly failed to add the extras as the half time whistle blew with Tondu leading 20-15.

Predictably after such a storming first 40 minutes, the second half would be more atricional and so it proved as Tondu defended superbly as Treorchy dominated territory, but were forced to comit men to the ruck to secure the ball, only for the Zebra backs to find themselves outnumbered in attack.  This led to a series of pick and drives which made minimal impact into the excellent Tondu defence.  But Treorchy did create their chances.  A penalty from Ashton was ajudged to have gone narrowly wide when on another day and perhaps with taller posts, it might been allowed and a superb outside break from centre Trystan Lazarus almost resulted in a second try for Andrew Mallin right in the corner.  The referee, faced with the choice of a Treorchy try, a defending line out or a Tondu drop out, chose the latter and Tondu cleared their lines.

In the dying minutes, the referree suddenly lost patience with the Tondu attempts to slow the ball down and yellow carded two players in quick succession to give Treorchy a final chance.  But to typify Treorchys afternoon, Ashton narrowly failed with a penalty attempt in the blustery conditions with two mintues remaining which would have set up a nailbiting finish.

Treorchy will now look to bounce back from their cup exit as they defend their 100% league record away to St Peters on Saturday 27th December.


Tries: Andrew Mallin, Daniel Thorne
Conversion: Celyn Ashton
Penalty: Celyn Ashton

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Treorchy 55 - 0 Old Illtydians

13th December 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy recorded their sixth league win out of six on Saturday with an emphatic nine try win over Swalec Division Three South East struggles Old Illtydians at the Oval last Saturday. 

In doing so they also picked up their fifth bonus point in the process to maintain the pressure on league leaders Llantwit Fardre who have played two games more.  With passive scrums in operation from the kick off on request from the visitors from Cardiff (a decision that means they could not make any substitutions during the 80 minutes), Treorchy were ruthless in stamping their authority on the game as first Andrew Mallin, making his return to the team after an injury lay off, scored in the left hand corner thanks to a couple of impressive hand offs and scrum half Gareth Fear dived over from an attacking scrum beneath the Old Illtydians posts as Treorchy declined the penalty opportunity.

In the early exchanges Treorchy dominated the contact area, while their dangerous backs threatened to score from almost every phase of play and thanks to tries from full back Lee Stone and a second for Fear, the bonus points were secured before 25 minutes had been played.  With the game and bonus point secured, Treorchy turned their attention to improving their try count which might become all important come the end of the season, but despite their predicament, Old Illtydians refused to give up, increasing their workload at the breakdown and allied to some white line fever from the Treorchy team, there was no further score before halftime as Treorchy went in 22-0.

  

Treorchy increased their lead with two early scores in the second half as Mallin scored his second of the day as a set backs move saw him running through a huge gap in the Old Illtydians defence, while the impressive young hooker Gafyn Lazarus dotted down for the try his efforts on the day fully deserved as Treorchy began to dominate the forward exchanges again with Rhodri Jones terrorizing the visitors line out.  Treorchy were able to make use of their squad as the game moved into the final quarter, and as a consequence, the visitors visibly tired as Treorchy ran in three further tries from Jamie John, Wayne Davies and Peter Hutchings.  Outside half Celyn Ashton converted five of the nine tries on the day as the referee blew for time (six minutes early for those with a sense of irony) with Treorchy running out convincing 55-0 winners.

  

Treorchy’s unbeaten season will come under a serious threat when they travel to Division Three East leaders Tondu on Saturday in the cup, while the next league fixture for the Zebras will be the ever tricky away game to St Peters on Saturday 27th December.

Treorchy:  15 Lee Stone, 14 Andrew Mallin, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Adam John (rep: Jamie John), 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus, 3 Simon Collins (rep: Shaun Green), 4 Jamie Summers (capt), 5 Daniel Thorne (rep: Gareth Barker), 6 Wayne Davies, 7 Ben Hughes, 8 Rhodri Jones.

Tries: Andrew Mallin (2), Gareth Fear (2), Lee Stone, Gafyn Lazarus, Jamie John, Wayne Davies, Peter Hutchings.
Conversions: Celyn Ashton (5)

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Brecon 5 - 16 Treorchy (match abandoned)

6th December 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)

The crunch league game between unbeaten Treorchy and ambitious Brecon ended in a farcical and embarassing style as Brecon took advantage of a sickening injury to their own scrum half, which resulted in a 30 minutes break in play, to effectively walk off the pitch with six minutes remaining on the referees watch due to the worsening light.

The game started as brightly as the crisp and cloudless sky as the visiting Zebras, despite their four weeks without a fixture, raced into an early ten point lead thanks to a try from hooker Shaun Green and a conversion and penalty from outside half Celyn Ashton. 


Photo: Tony Penhale

The remainder of the half set the scene for the rest of the match as Treorchy just edged a forward dominated game with both defences on top and the referees inability to clear the tackle area.

Within a minute of the restart, the game was halted by the distressing sight of a player been taken to hospital in an ambulance with a neck injury and all present will wish the departing player all the best in what will be hoped is a speedy recovery. 

After the enforced thirty minute break
and with the temperatures dropping, the game inevitably degenerated into an arm wrestle, but what came as a shock to both sets of supporters was the frequent breaks in play for Brecon injuries, despite the emphasis on them to chase the game. 

A well worked try from Brecon second row Wyn Davies
on the hour gave the home side hope, but the conversion was missed and with Celyn Ashton finding gaps behind the Brecon rush defence with his punts, Treorchy were able to control the territory and stretched the lead out to 16-5 wih two penalties as the clock ticked in the gathering gloom. 

Then it become apparent that there might have been something amiss with the frequency of the Brecon injuries as their coaches could be heard to instruct a groggy
home full back to go down after a heavy tackle in order to receive more treatment. 

W
ith Treorchy encamped on the Brecon line and two scores ahead, the pathetic sight of the home coaches pleading with the referree to call a halt to proceedings will stick in the throat of many who give up their spare time to help run and support their local club and did nothing to enhance the reputation of Brecon RFC in the eyes of all those present. 

In the end and with the clock already into injury time (not including the extended break) the referee d
ecided to abandon the game as the Brecon captain informed him that his team were going to leave the pitch.  A sad end to a sad day.

Treorchy will attempt to rid themselves of the nasty taste in the mouth left by this contest as they entertain Old Illtydians at the Oval on Saturday.

Treorchy:  15 Lee Stone, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Adam John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Celyn Ashton, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Daniel Thorne , 7 Vernon Lloyd (rep: Wayne Davies, 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Try: Shaun Green
Conversion: Celyn Ashton
Penalties: Celyn Ashton (3)

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Treorchy 21 - 8 Nantyglo

15th November 2008 (report by Gary Spiller)

A windy Saturday afternoon at the Oval welcomed the visitors from the Gwent Valleys for this Swalec Cup 3rd Round tie. 

Winning the toss the visitors had no hesitation in choosing to play with the strong wind at their backs and wasted little time making use of it by taking an early lead through outside half Matthew Harris’s boot.  Treorchy however didn’t panic facing the wind and for long periods kept the ball in hand frustrating their opponents and it wasn’t until injury time that Nantyglo extended their lead with a grubber kick being gathered by left winger Mike Williams.  The try went unconverted leaving the score 8-0 at halftime.

Treorchy’s outside half Lee Stone showed the value of his experience by pinning the visitors back into their own half and it didn’t take long before the gap was narrowed with two penalties, before he slotted an imperious drop goal to put Treorchy into the lead with 20 minutes remaining.  With Treorchy’s pack taking control of the set piece and Gareth Fear at scrum half threatening with breaks the match winning score looked inevitable and with Treorchy’s young front row putting the visitors through a series of punishing scrums, it was left to skipper Jamie Summers to power over after a quick pick up.

Former skipper Vernon Lloyd further extended the lead with five minutes to go following a move that began in the home twenty-two to complete the scoring and maintain’s Treorchy 100% start to the season in both league and cup, but it will have been the composure in fighting back from an eight point deficit to notch up twenty one unanswered second half points that will have the coaches and players thinking that this season could see something special from the Zebras.

Treorchy:  15 Craig Payne, 14 Daniel Rees (rep: Adam John), 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus (rep: Shaun Green), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Gareth Barker, 5 Daniel Thorne , 6 Vernon Lloyd, 7 Wayne Davies (rep: Rhodri Jones ), 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Jamie Summers, Vernon Lloyd
Conversion: Lee Stone
Penalties: Lee Stone (2)
Drop Goal: Lee Stone

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Treorchy 43 - 10 Fairwater

1st November 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)

Treorchy maintained their superb start to the season with a seven try demolition of Fairwater at the Oval on Saturday that pushes them to second in Division Three South East with a game in hand over leaders Llantwit Fardre.

In a dominant pack performance to rival any seen at the Oval for many a day, Treorchy took total control of the game following an early penalty from Fairwater and after 17 minutes a kickable penalty was declined and the Treorchy scrum, with young front row of Chris John, Shaun Green and Simon Collins overwhelming their more experienced opponents, allowing scrum half Gareth Fear to dive over for the opening try of the match.  Despite the new laws, Fairwater even found it difficult to contain the Treorchy rolling maul and an old fashioned rolling line out produced a second Treorchy try ten minutes before half time from hooker Green, to increase Treorchys lead to 12-3.

With a strong wind in their favour Fairwater rallied late in the first half, but some superb Treorchy defence protected their nine point advantage and within ten minutes of the restart tries from Gareth Fear and Jamie John sealed the bonus point and secured the match.

With the influential Trystan Lazarus and Andrew Malin both missing from the Treorchy backline and an inevitable re-shuffle, Treorchy could have been forgiven for not being their usual fluid self behind the scrum, but with centres Jamie and Adam John aggressive in defence and attack the loss went unnoticed and as Fairwater heads visibly dropped the explosive Adam John registered two well worked tries and with the ever impressive second row Rhodri Jones adding a five pointer of his own, it was left to a handling error from the home side behind their own try in the closing minutes to gift Fairwater a late consolation try as the Zebras ran out winners 43-10.

With momentum well and truly behind the Zebras it is perhaps not the best time for the autumn international break, but Treorchy will resume their season as they host Nantyglo in the next round of the cup on Saturday 15th November before the crunch fixture away to third placed Brecon on Saturday 6th December.

Treorchy:  15 Peter Hutchings, 14 Daniel Rees (rep: Craig Payne), 13 Jamie John, 12 Adam John, 11 Robert Davies, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John (rep: Gareth Jones), 2 Shaun Green (rep: Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Gareth Barker, 5 Rhodri Jones, 6 Vernon Lloyd, 7 Daniel Thorne (rep: Wayne Davies), 8 Jamie Summers (capt).

Tries: Gareth Fear (2), Shaun Green, Adam John (2), Jamie John, Rhodri Jones
Conversions: Lee Stone (4)

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Blaina 11 - 25 Treorchy

25th October 2008

Treorchy:  15 Trystan Lazarus, 14 Dan Rees (rep: Robert Davies), 13 Jamie John, 12 Adam John, 11  Craig Payne, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus (rep: Shaun Green), 3 Simon Collins (rep: Gareth Jones), 4 Gareth Barker, 5 Jamie Summers, 6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Wayne Davies (rep: Vernon Lloyd), 8 Rhodri Jones.

Tries: Gareth Fear (2), Craig Payne, Trystan Lazarus
Conversion: Lee Stone
Penalty: Le Stone

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Penarth 8 - 33 Treorchy

18th October 2008
No report from Treorchy this week, but if you want a laugh, read the report submitted by Penarth to the Penarth Times ... obviously, this person needs therapy!

Treorchy: 15 Craig Payne (rep: Jamie John), 14 Daniel Rees, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Adam John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear (rep: Matthew Booker).  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green (rep:  Gafyn Lazarus), 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Glen Taylor), 6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Vernon Lloyd, 8 Jamie Summers (Capt).

Tries: Gareth Fear (2), Jamie Summers, Trystan Lazarus, Rhodri Jones
Conversions: Lee Stone (4)

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Treorchy 22 - 11 Llanishen

11th October 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)
Treorchy maintained the momentum of their immaculate start to the season with a hard fought victory over a visiting Llanishen side looking to maintain their own unbeaten record, despite playing with just 14 for the final half an hour.

Despite Llanishen’s lofty position in the league prior to kick off, the Treorchy supporters could have been forgiven for thinking that the gorgeous and now seemingly seasonal Treorchy weather would see a second rampant Treorchy performance of the season as they raced out into an early eight point lead thanks to a Lee Stone penalty and an excellently worked try for Andrew Mallin following some superb offloading from second row Rhodri Jones and Trystan Lazarus. 

A combative Llanishen side had other ideas as wing Gareth Shields scored beneath the posts following a missed tackle in midfield and two Ryan Garner penalties put the Cardiff side into an 11-8 lead after half an hour.  To complete a highly enjoyable half of rugby, Treorchy capped their growing territorial control with a second try as an excellent miss pass put centre Trystan Lazarus through a gap and under the posts as the whistle blew for half time.

With Treorchy’s lead a slender 15-11, they could little afford the two glorious blown chances for their third try as 50/50 offloads were risked rather than going to ground following clean breaks.  And before the spectators had time to reflect on the possible repercussions of the two misses, they looked crucial as the key Lazarus was rather harshly given a straight red card for reacting to the increasingly common niggling by throwing the ball at a Llanishen player. 

With a man down for over half an hour and a slender four point lead, the tide looked to have turned in favour of the visitors.  But with Lee Stone superbly nursing the excellent forwards and the destructive tackling of Adam John in the centres, Treorchy continued their territorial dominance and heading into the final quarter impressive prop Chris John drove over from close range for the third try from an attacking line out following an earlier break from Peter Hutchings.

With twenty minutes to go, Llanishen had enough time to fight back from the 22-11 deficit, but tried as they might, Llanishen were unable to break down the gritty Treorchy defence, barely making it into Zebra territory let alone the twenty two.  With just a matter of minutes left on the clock, a fourth home team try, and bonus point, looked to be on the cards as Captain Jamie Summers turned down an easy penalty and three points in favour of another kick to the corner.  The attempt was thwarted thanks to the new laws allowing Llanishen to drag down the resulting drive, but the visitors weren’t able to stop the dominant Zebras from chalking up their third win of the season with a 22-11 victory.

The Zebras hope to continue their impressive momentum as they travel away to equally high flying Penarth next week against.  If the weather continues, spectators will be advised to bring their buckets and spades.

T
reorchy:  15 Andrew Mallin, (rep Jamie John) 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Adam John, 11 Peter Hutchings, 10 Lee Stone, 9 Gareth Fear.  1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Wayne Davies (rep Ben Hughes), 7 Vernon Lloyd, 8 Jamie Summers (Capt).  Replacements not used: Gafyn Lazarus, Matthew Booker

Tries: Andrew Mallin, Trystan Lazarus, Chris John
Conversions: Lee Stone (2)
Penalties: Lee Stone

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Treorchy 50 - 0 St Clears

27th September 2008 (report by by Gary Spiller)
This was a reminder to all TREORCHY fans of the dream days of the nineties following this eight try romp over St Clears at the Oval.

The sizeable crowd, bathed in early autumn sun, witnessed the Zebras dismantle their West Wales visitors in every department starting at the scrum where time and again the young front row, sporting debutant teenager Gavin Lazarus at hooker flanked by 19 year old Chris John and 21 year old Simon Collins,  overwhelmed their larger, more experienced opposite numbers.

Treorchy, who rotated their squad with a view to the arduous league campaign underway , have shown glimpses in both their league games of the sort of game they are hoping to play and on this occasion were able to show it all the way through in this match.   Rhodri Jones the teenaged second row displayed further proof of the production line of talent coming through the youth section by touching down twice - both times showing speed and support to take offloads from team mates.

Converted fullback Andrew Mallin ,who’s this term moved up to outside half, really took the ball to the gain line - mixing inside and outside and a deft range of kicks to control matters sending his centres through gaps all day with outside centre Trystan Lazarus filling his boots with a fine hat trick - but St Clears had the stuffing and their resolve knocked from them by the pack who kept up a supply of quick ball from each and every ruck.

On a day of so many positives for Treorchy there was one negative, the loss of Ben Hughes celebrating his 100th match with an early hamstring tear, fingers will be crossed that he manages a recovery in time for the trip to Nantymoel on Saturday.  The reality, however, is that,  based on their showings so far this term, Treorchy are maybe building something special at the Oval ... time will tell though.

Treorchy:  15 Peter Hutchings, 14 Craig Payne, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John (rep: Andrew Williams), 11  Daniel Rees, 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone, 1 Chris John, 2 Gafyn Lazarus, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker, 6 Daniel Thorne, 7 Ben Hughes (rep: Wayne Davies), 8 Vernon Lloyd. 

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (3), Rhodri Jones (2), Daniel Rees, Peter Hutchings, Andrew Mallin
Conversions: Lee Stone (5)

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Aberdare 20 - 32 Treorchy

20th September 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)
TREORCHY maintained their perfect start to the season with a second away bonus point win in two weeks, this time against newly promoted Aberdare

On a glorious day, Treorchy wasted no time in putting their marker down by scoring within 40 seconds of the kick off as they reclaimed their own kick off.  Some quick ball was transferred to an unguarded blind side and second row Gareth Barker broke through some weak tackles before feeding hooker Shaun Green who crossed for his first try of the season.  The conversion struck the upright and Aberdare were quick to cut the lead with a penalty of their own a few moments later.

With Rhodri Jones terrorising the Aberdare line out, the home side found it difficult to escape their own territory and Treorchy duly registered their second try through Jamie John mid way through the first half as he darted over following a sustained period of pressure form the Treorchy pack.  From the touchline, Trystan Lazarus added the extras.  Aberdare responded almost immediately with a fantastic team try as they showed some excellent handling skills in both the forwards and the backs, keeping the ball alive before a mismatch was found in centre field, allowing the score beneath the posts.  The conversion was added and almost immediately Aberdare took the lead 13-12 with a penalty.  As with last week's victory away to Llandaff North, going behind seemed to galvanise the Treorchy team and they upped their work load before half time to see winger Robert Davies register his first try of the season as a neat back move saw him into enough space to dot down in the left hand corner.  The conversion was missed, but the half time whistle blew with Treorchy 17-13 up.

The second half started with a bang as Jamie Summers, surprisingly deployed at number eight rather than his usual second row, showed why he had been selected to exploit the extra space from the scrum set piece, by breaking a weak first up tackle and galloping over from outside the Aberdare twenty-two to register Treorchy's bonus point try.  The conversion was missed, but Treorchy extended their lead with a penalty as the heat of the day began to take its toll on the players as the game become scrappy.  Leading 25-13 going into the final ten minutes, Treorchy effectively killed the game off as a complicated scissors move from the Aberdare backs just inside their half was dropped and Treorchy outside half Andrew Mallin kicked and courtesy of some useful footwork was able to score Treorchy's fifth try.  The conversion was added to push Treorchy out into a comfortable 13-32 lead.

Aberdare battled manfully and were rewarded with a second try late on courtesy of a quick tap penalty, but the day was Treorchy's as they ran out 20-32 winners in an excellent team performance.

Treorchy:  15 Peter Hutchings, 14 Daniel Rees, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Jamie John, 11 Robert Davies (rep: Luke Hughes), 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone, 1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Rhodri Jones, 5 Gareth Barker (rep: Ben Hughes), 6 Wayne Davies (rep: Daniel Thorne), 7 Vernon Lloyd, 8 Jamie Summers (Capt) (rep: Gafyn Lazarus). 

Tries: Shaun Green, Jamie John, Robert Davies, Jamie Summers, Andrew Mallin
Conversions: Trystan Lazarus, Lee Stone
Penalties: Lee Stone

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Llandaff North 21 - 35 Treorchy 

13th September 2008 (report by Carl Spiller)
TREORCHY got their season off to a tremendous start with an away victory and bonus point over newly promoted Llandaff North in their opening game of the Swalec Division Three South East.

The first half was a scrappy and frustrating affair but centre Adam John was prominent with ball in hand.  Both sides traded penalty kicks before Treorchy registered the first try as outside half Andrew Mallin produced an excellent flat cut out pass that beat the on-rushing defence to put the drifting centre Trystan Lazarus through a gap. Lazarus found Mallin back on the inside and he galloped over.  Scrum half Lee Stone missed the conversion, but both sides traded a further penalty apiece.

Llandaff re-took the lead early when centre Wright glided through a gap to score.  This set back spurred Treorchy and within a few minutes went into the lead as a defensive scrum deep in Llandaff's 22 was dismantled by the impressive young Treorchy props Chris John and Simon Collins.  The unexpected scrum ball was spun quickly to the blind side where outside half Mallin trotted over unopposed for Trystan Lazarus to convert.

Within five minutes, Lazarus burst through to score a try for Stone add the conversion and also converted a penalty from the very next attack.  The visitors despite dominating territory allowed home side to score a try through outside half Darren French.  The conversion was missed, but with time running out another attack saw Treorchy concede a penalty just outside their 22.  The three points were duly added as Treorchy's lead was cut to 28-21 with five minutes still remaining.

Trystan Lazarus added his second try of the day as a first phase back move saw the youngster gain enough space to scamper over for the bonus point.  Stone added the extras to complete the scoring in an entertaining 35-21 victory for the Rhondda side.

Treorchy: 15 Peter Hutchings, 14 Daniel Rees, 13 Trystan Lazarus, 12 Adam John (rep: Rhydian Williams), 11 Robert Davies, 10 Andrew Mallin, 9 Lee Stone, 1 Chris John, 2 Shaun Green, 3 Simon Collins, 4 Jamie Summers (capt), 5 Wayne Davies (rep: Gareth Barker), 6 Vernon Lloyd, 7 Ben Hughes (rep: Rhodri Jones), 8 Daniel Thorne.

Tries: Trystan Lazarus (2), Andrew Mallin (2)
Conversions: Trystan Lazarus, Lee Stone (2)
Penalties: Lee Stone (3)

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