VideoCaldicot Geese RFC 15 Bedwas Barbarians RFC 17
Dragons Athletic League, Saturday 18th February 2023.
Match report by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths, Video, and images by Angela Brideaux.
The Bedwas Barbarians made the trip to Caldicot RFC for the league return fixture, sitting comfortably 11 points clear at the top of the table, the BaaBaas side looked to extend their lead and remain unbeaten.
Caldicot, who were hurting from their last encounter with the Bedwas side, came out firing, and tested the boys early on.
However, the BaaBaas were the first to get on the scoresheet, with Ashley Matthews crashing his way through in the corner. The wind made Owen Thomas’ afternoon difficult, just blowing the ball wide of the uprights.
Caldicot, unlike the last meeting, soon replied, capitalising on an overlap on the left wing, scoring their first try of the day. The wind also giving their kicker trouble and the conversion was missed.
Soon after, Bedwas found themselves back in their opponents 22, piling the pressure in attack before being turned over at the breakdown. A poor exit from the Caldicot outside half, gifted the ball to wing Jack Stingemore, who used his pace to beat the majority of the Caldicot defence and burst through to score in the same spot as his teammate previously. Again the try went unconverted.
As the opening half came to an end, Caldicot began to press, but a brilliant defensive effort saw the ball turned over by prop Ben Davis, who won the penalty to safely clear the ball. Winger Will Jones had to depart early and made way for Tyler Pesci-Griffiths after obtaining a hand injury during these phases of play.
Just before the end of the half, fullback Saul Down found himself in a bit of space, and powered his way through the last man to cross for a try.
This time Owen Thomas got the better of the wind, and added the extras.
A bruised Caldicot, came out strong in the second half, and created plenty of opportunities early on. Bedwas’ defence was tested and held up well.
However, a penalty was conceded and shortly after Caldicot found themselves over the line to narrow the gap. Again, the conversion was missed.
Shortly afterwards, Caldicot rose again, pressuring the defence and trying to force their way over to level the score.
Some outstanding defensive efforts from the visitors kept the Caldicot Geese away from the whitewash, until their number 8, seemingly broke through to score, a dual effort by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths and Alex Kawulok, brought the player back off the line before he managed to touch down.
However, the Caldicot attacks didn’t stop there. Poor discipline from the BaaBaas, saw the ball kicked into their half again, this time a good phase of play off the lineout for Caldicot saw them cross for a try, and really mount the pressure onto the undefeated Barbarians side. The wind was in Bedwas’ favour as the conversion sailed wide.
The final 10 minutes came, and both sides left everything they had on the field to ensure they would leave with the victory. Forwards coach Dean Picton made changes in his pack, which made all the difference against the tiring home side.
Props Nathan Pearce and Michael Young came on, and dominated the front row, turning the ball over in 3 defensive scrums. As the clock wound down, the Barbarians tightened up, and continued to play the phases.
The Caldicot Geese, however, did not give in, they won the ball back thanks to a Bedwas knock on, and made one last attacking push. The last play had been called, and with Caldicot on the attack, a huge hit from captain Dewi Thomas, dislodged the ball from the Caldicot 8, and the referee blew for full-time.
Credit to Caldicot Geese for a very tough game. Final Score Caldicot Geese 15 – 17 Bedwas Barbarians We also wish Will Jones a speedy recovery from a fractured hand, and hope to see him return soon.
Video from the game can be seen here: http://www.bedwasrfc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Video.mov