05 April 2016 / Club News

Skewen v Risca 4th Round Swalec Plate


On Saturday the 26th March Skewen welcomed Risca RFC to Tennant Park for the belated WRU Plate round 4 match. This was new ground as neither side had met previously and for the winner a quarter final place was up for grabs. Typically for a cup game the anticipated weather was wet windy and cold and it sure was.

Skewen opened the score with a well taken penalty by outside half Anthony Busselli after just 3 minutes into the game. 3-0

Again on the 16th minute Anthony Busselli doubled the score with a well taken penalty in what was by now deteriorating weather conditions. 6-0

7 minutes later he again kept the score board moving with another successful penalty kick. 9-0

Up to this point it was very much nip and tuck with the weather and strong defences having the upper hand.

As the half progressed the Skewen 8 started to exert pressure on their opponents especially at the scrummage. Indeed it was from a good scrum on the halfway line that led to Skewens 1sttry on the 26 minute mark Captain and no 8 Ed Price picked up from the base and managed to get behind the Risca defensive line before offloading to winger Mathew Billet who racing down the line passed inside to scrum half James Ball who miraculously picked the ball off his toes without breaking pace to rush in for a well-deserved try. 14-0

Again it was from good scrum pressure on the 34th minute that led to yet another successful penalty by Anthony Busselli. 17-0

At the stroke of half time another solid scrum saw ball quickly moved to winger Mathew Billet who stepped outside his man before passing inside to full back Gareth Morris who raced into to score. 22-0

Half time Skewen 22 Risca 0

In the second half the weather and the decision to go to uncontested scrums despite the fact that Risca had two props on the field somewhat changed the style and pace of the game as with the deteriorating weather handling errors became more frequent leading to a number of scrums.

Skewens 3rd try came from a break by full back Gareth Morris who, taking the ball inside his own half, bounced of several defenders without breaking step to run 60 yards to score under the posts. Converted by Anthony Busselli 29-0

Risca took advantage of a handling error when Skewen attempting to run ball from inside their 22 dropped a pass which was turned over by the Risca backs. Their forwards successfully held the ball through several phases before rumbling over the line for a try. 29-5




Despite the weather both sides attempted to play positive football and from a turn over within the Skewen 22 the forwards held the ball through several phases and drives before releasing to the backs. The subsequent kick ahead was cleverly retrieved by outside half Anthony Busselli who crossed between the posts to give himself and easier conversion. 36-5


Final score Skewen 36 Risca 5


An impressive performance in atrocious conditions with both sides attempting to play attractive rugby, and yet again another very strong defensive display by all 22 players. 

However the whole dynamics of the game changed in the second half with the surprising decision to go to uncontested scrums especially when the Skewen 8 was gaining complete dominance in that area and that Risca were able to replace a prop with a prop but supposedly one who as a loose head couldn’t play tight.

A tough one over and a tougher one to come, a quarter final game at home to our nemesis from last season’s semi-final Ystrad Rhondda 

Just to clarify the confused discussions at the bar after the game the WRU plate rulings state that

(a) For rounds 1 to 4 each team can field a maximum of 5 substitutes and at the start of the game must have 5 players experienced to play in the front row to enable the replacement of the 1st prop injury and the 1st hooker injury. Where uncontested scrums are ordered as a result of there being no suitably trained and experienced front row players for any reason, the team concerned shall not be entitled to replace the player whose departure caused the uncontested scrums.

(b) From the quarter final to the final each side can use 8 substitutes and they must ensure they have cover to replace at loose head, tight head and hooker.



Played 23 won 22.Points for 879 Points against169. Tries for 118 Tries against 18








Skewen Team V Risca

15 Gareth Morris

14 Mark Harvey (replaced by James Ball)

13 Andrew Collins (replaced by Kevin James)

12 Tom Kingdom 

11Mathew Billet

10 Anthony Busselli  

9 James Ball (replaced by Jamie Kirkhouse)​

8 ED Price Capt. (replaced by Aled Mogford)

7 Dai Morgan 

6 Jo Lewis 

5 Aled Mogford (replaced by Ollie Thompson)

4 Reece Jenkins  

3 Mark Jones (replaced by Jonny Gethin)

2 Rhodri Hughes

1 James Reeves (replaced by Liam Grice )



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