Barbarians move fifteen points clear in the League

Newport HSOB 2nd XV 20 Bedwas Barbarians 21

Dragons Athletic League, Saturday 11 March 2023

Match report by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths, photography by Angela Brideaux

The Barbarians made the trip to NHSOB RFC to continue their league campaign.

Sitting comfortably at the top of the table unbeaten, the Barbarians side hoped to continue their run and take the spoils.

 The Bedwas boys came out early, with a sharp back line surge, resulting in Tristan Kugler creating space for Tyler Picton who shipped the ball wide to Saul Down, who touched down for his ninth of the season, joining Alex Kawulok and Tristan Kugler at the top of the try count.

 NHSOB soon replied, creating a flurry of phases, finding themselves in the Bedwas 5 metre zone, a two man overlap resulted in the home sides first try of the afternoon.

As the half progressed, the game intensified, both sides putting in some big hits making the game a hard contest. Bedwas won two penalties within a few minutes, both resulting in Owen Thomas adding to the scoreboard to put the Barbarians 13-5 ahead.

 As the game heated up, things got a bit fiery, ill-discipline from the Bedwas side, resulted in a yellow card for Alex Kawulok and a penalty kick to touch which set up the home side to crash through and score an unconverted try.

As the half was nearing its end, Bedwas welcomed the return of Kawulok to the field, however they soon returned to 14 men as Ashley Matthews was shown red for an unlucky collision during a tackle.

Half Time: NHSOB 10 – 13 Bedwas Barbarians.

 The fourteen men Barbarians side went into the second half hoping to see the game off and secure the W.

 However, the home side had other ideas. NHSOB capitalised on a poor start to the half  from the visitors, and spent the majority of the first 15 minutes of the half in the Bedwas half, testing the defence, to which Bedwas proved themselves.

The first try of the half came from the Barbarians. Hooker Owain Brideaux scored his 3rd try in 3 games, after a series of phases, tipped off with a pick and go. The conversion by Tyler Picton fell just short.

 The home side still did not give in, another surge of attack, pushing the Bedwas side back onto their own try line, this time poor discipline via the offside line, resulted in a try from a ‘tap and go’ penalty.

 The final 20 minutes came, and it was still either sides game for the taking. A determined home side wanted their first league win and the visitors were determined to continue their unbeaten run.

 Frustration was rising for both sides, and after a knock on from the Bedwas side, tempers flared, ending in a scuffle, resulting in a yellow card for the home side and a second yellow for Alex Kawulok, ending his game prematurely.

 The now 13 man Barbarians had a big task ahead of them to see the game out, against a surging home attack, a few defensive errors and an inevitable overlap found the old boys side score their 4th try, again unconverted.

Now trailing for the first time in the game, skipper Dewi Thomas rallied his boys together to make a final push as the game was drawing to a close. This time it was the home side’s poor discipline in defence that resulted in a penalty within range, Owen Thomas stepped up and slotted the ball comfortably between the uprights, taking the unbeaten side back into the lead.

 Knowing the game wasn’t quite over yet, the home side pressurised well from the restart, turning the ball over in the Bedwas half. Determined defence from the 2-man down Bedwas, managed to hold off the home attacks.

 The last play was called, and a spillage of the ball from the home side welcomed the referees final whistle, with the Bedwas side victorious in the league once again, however really having to dig deep thanks to a solid shift from their hosts.

Final Score NHSOB 20 – 21 Bedwas Barbarians.

 Man of the Match – Owen Thomas