Cardiff Met 42
“4 tries, little consolation really. When we got back into the game with 15 minutes to go we should have been much tighter in defence. We allowed the students to regain the momentum” commented Head Coach Matthew Bolton
“It’s difficult when the contact area is refereed differently week in week out. We need to take a long look at the video to see why we were transgressing at the breakdown so often but the Met weren’t” said a disappointed manager Luke Burton. “The best side on the day won but how even was the playing field?” he added.
On a bright afternoon at the Memorial Ground all the early play came from the students but the game suffered from a constant stream of penalties (mostly awarded against the Wanderers) and therefore it failed to come to life. Cardiff Met outside half Matt O’Brien eventually landed his first penalty to put the visitors ahead 0-3 but the first 20 minutes provided little to excite the crowd. Wanderers captain Alex Luff was sent to the bin for a tackle described as a tip tackle (???) by the referee and after another O’Brien penalty the Wanderers finally sprung into life. Showing that, when under pressure the students were vulnerable, the home side started to string some phases together. From a poor clearance kick Lloyd Chalke counter attacked. Combing with forwards and backs and after several rucks the ball went wide. Ianto Griffiths fed inside and Ross Gibbon was on hand to take a scoring pass from Ed Doe. Griffiths converted to put the Wanderers ahead 7-6. It seemed that the home side would take the narrow lead into the break but at a lineout on halfway the Wanderers were deemed to have offended against the jumper (although to many it appeared that the lifters had dropped him!). From the penalty the Students set up another lineout deep in Wanderers territory and a well organised catch and drive sent Sam Crosse over for the try. O’Brien converted to make the half time score 7-13.
The second half proved, despite the steady flow of penalties, to be a much more open affair. From a turnover in home territory the Wanderers put Ed Doe into a space. He turned on the gas and ran around a floundering full back to score under the posts. Griffiths converted 14-13. Straight from the kick off the students responded superbly. The home side failed to deal with the restart and the Met were on the attack. After several phases the ball went wide to Pierre Tucker who eluded the defensive tacklers and crossed in the corner. O’Brien converted and the students were back in front 14-20. Very soon afterwards the students seemed to have taken the game by the scruff of the neck when Tucker crossed again to give the visitors a 14-25 lead. The game continued to open up with both sides moving the ball when the chance allowed. From another of the visitors attacks good defence turned the ball over and Chalke found space on the blindside. He chipped ahead and when the covering defence failed to deal with the loose ball Griffiths was on hand to pounce for the try. He converted it himself and the Wanderers were back in it at 21-25. The visitors responded and O’Brien nudged them further ahead with his third penalty 21-28 but the game was levelled after a series of close quarter drives on the visitors line allowed Owen Marshall to step off his wing to drive over. Griffiths converted again 28-28. The game was set up for a great finale but another yellow card for the home side and some strong play from the visitors allowed them to take the initiative. Another well executed catch and drive gave them the edge again when Miles Normandale crashed over and with time running out the victory was sealed by Adam Lewis who went over under the posts. O’Brien converted to give Cardiff Met a deserved win 28-42 but it left the home side coaches desperately trying to bite their tongues when thanking the man in the middle!
Match pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/