Rees claws Panthers back to level terms
6:18pm Monday 14th October 2013 in Sport
Penybanc Panthers 10 Bargoed Bears 10
Following their impressive win at Lampeter, Penybanc Panthers entertained one of the stand-out teams of the division in the shape of Bargoed Bears.
From the off the visitors looked to make the most of their superior size to power their way forward, but to lively Panthers tackled hard to disrupt the rampaging Bears and thwart any real advances.
The scrum proved to be a difficult area for the Panthers as they struggled to gain parity against Bargoed’s powerful pack, but stern words from the home front row proved fruitful as the Panthers found their feet and built a platform for illusive scrum half Catrin Rees to nip over from five metres to put the hosts ahead. Rees added the extras to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead on 35 minutes.
Bargoed ere stunned to find themselves behind and put together a series of strong phases to send their powerhouse prop over for an unconverted score.
The rain which had fallen throughout the first half eased after the break, allowing the Panthers to exploit their live-wire back line, but the visiting centres proved up to the task and put in a series of bone-jarring tackles to halt the hosts’ advances.
Fearing the Panthers backs, Bargoed looked to keep the ball tight and managed to stroll their way deep into the Panthers 22 only for a final knock-on to be greeted by a huge sigh of home relief.
But from the subsequent scrum, the ball shot loose straight into the hands of the delighted Bargoed scrum-half who waltzed over the whitewash untroubled to put the Bears in front on 50 minutes for the first time in the game. But the visitors’ failure to convert would prove costly.
For the next 25 minutes, the Panthers were forced onto the back foot as the visitors looked to make the game safe, but some huge hits, particularly from Laura Powell, Angharad Ewards, Sophie Mangano and Dayna Mepham, kept them at bay.
With the clock ticking down it appeared the Panthers would be forced to settle for just a bonus point despite their Herculean efforts, but after a late flurry it was Bargoed who found themselves going backwards.
Ill-discipline amongst the Bears forwards was spotted by the referee, who was excellent throughout, and he had no hesitation in awarding the Psnthers a last-ditch penalty.
Rees stepped up and shrugged off any thoughts of pressure to strike a sweet penalty between the posts and claim a vital draw as the Panthers continue their rugby odyssey.
The Panthers travel to Haverfordwest next Sunday.
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