James Thatcher stretches for the line.
Glamorgan Wanderers 3
“Difficult to find the positives” commented Jamie the head ball-boy after the Wanderers had put in a poor performance against a strong Cardiff side at the memorial ground.
“It didn’t help that we kicked off at 2-30pm and the game started at 1-30pm” said statistician Carol Morgan as she left the ground.
On a bright afternoon the Wanderers had first use of a strong gusting wind and began brightly. Cardiff found it difficult to clear their lines and the Wanderers went through several phases only to concede a turnover and allow the Blue & Blacks to clear. Cardiff took play back up to halfway but despite several phase they found the Wanderers defence solid and the home side were able to take play back into the visitors 22. Finding it difficult to clear their half in the wind Cardiff were eventually penalised for holding on at a ruck and Aled James had a chance to open the scoring. Unfortunately his penalty went wide. Despite plenty of chances the Wanderers were finding it difficult to hold onto possession and gain any build up of pressure. Cardiff were starting to dominate the lineout although the Wanderers scrum was causing the visitors plenty of problems. Another chance to take the lead was missed on 18 minutes when James had another penalty shot but these chances were few and far between as the visitors gained the ascendancy. After several phases the Blue & Blacks took play down to the Wanderers line and after a couple of penalty infringements the home side conceded the first try of the day as Ross Johnston crashed over from a lineout drive. Cardiff led 0-5. The visitors were back on the attack immediately and despite the help of strong wind the Wanderers were under great pressure. The home side were unable to break the strangle hold and after Cardiff were awarded a penalty for a tackle without the ball the visitors extended their lead to 0-8. The half drew to a close with a rare Wanderers attack and after a couple of forward drives the Cardiff backs were caught offside and Aled James eventually got the Wanderers on the scoreboard with a penalty. Half time score 3-8.
With the elements in their favour Cardiff were straight on the attack and they extended their lead with another penalty. The Wanderers defence had its back against the wall and with no solid lineout ball the control of the ball was impossible. Attacks became more and more desperate and each time they broke down the visitors easily took play back to the Wanderers line with a well placed kick. Cardiff extended their lead to 3-14 with another penalty following a handling offence and soon afterwards a poor up and under on halfway by the Wanderers allowed Cardiff to move the ball swiftly and with no defence home Nathan Rees crossed in the corner. Craig Evans converted and the Blue &Blacks were out of sight at 3-21. They extended that lead with 10 minutes to go as centre Chapman found a huge hole in the home side midfield to cross for Cardiff’s 3rd try. In the last 5 minutes the Wanderers lost Aled James on a stretcher after a head injury but he was given the all clear by the medical staff soon afterwards. There was time for one final assault on the Cardiff line but in keeping with the afternoon the Wanderers failed to produce a score. Final score Wanderers 3 Cardiff 26.
Author: Alyn Humphreys