Bedwas Barbarians RFC 43 Caldicot Geese RFC 0.
Dragons Athletic League, Saturday 14 January 2023.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
The anticipation amongst the Barbarians players and management was clear to see. They were all excited to be playing a league fixture, not just a league fixture but a game against their closest rivals, unbeaten Caldicot Geese. A hard fought evenly contested match was anticipated but it turned out to be quite the opposite.
Caldicot started with purpose and the home defence had to be on point as the visiting pack drove close to the line. Deemed short of the line the resulting scrum saw the home pack send their opponents backwards to win a penalty and clear the ball.
At the other end the Bedwas youngsters were determined to score and Owain Brideaux duly obliged with a try to the left of the posts, Owen Thomas adding the extras. Three minutes later and the lead was doubled as a quick counter-attack was finished off by full back Tristan Kugler, Owen Thomas’s conversion drifting wide.
Both sides fought hard to add to their scores but defences dominated before the Barbarians increased their lead around the half hour mark. Good hands passing the ball along the line brought it’s reward as Kugler crossed for his second try this time close to the right-hand touchline. Thomas’s conversion attempt fell just short thanks to the wind.
The home side were not finished. Gavin Evans found the space to canter over for the fourth try of the afternoon but again Thomas was unlucky with his conversion.
Five minutes into the second half the Barbarians increased their lead as Saul Down broke through to run in and dot down under the sticks. Thomas successfully added the extras.
Just before the hour Alex Kawulok was driven over for the sides’ sixth try of the afternoon, Thomas’s conversion extending the lead to thirty-six unanswered points.
Both sides made changes and momentum swung as Caldicot mounted a series of attacks close to the Bedwas line. The Barbarians were in no mood to concede and by means fair or foul kept their opponents out. Too many penalties were conceded for the officials liking and Saul Down was deemed to be the guilty party and given ten minutes on the side-lines for his alleged part. Still his colleagues resisted everything Caldicot could throw at them and kept their opponents score to nil.
Close to the end Tyler Picton added the final try of the afternoon after twice kicking through a loose ball and winning the race to the line. Tristan Kugler added the extras to complete an excellent performance for the home side.
Men of the match were Owain Brideaux and Owen Thomas.
Next Saturday the Barbarians host Monmouth Druids in another keenly anticipated home fixture.
Images from the game are at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/