Slick Students survive Wanderers fightback

Wanderers 10

Cardiff Met 19

“We asked for a response at half time as we felt we were struggling and the boys dug deep. It wasn’t pretty but we got ourselves back into the game and were possibly a little hard done by with that last try” Commented coach Darren Gibbon “The Met were deserved winners but after the defeat at Bedwas we certainly saw a positive response”.

“It’s been a tough run in December but we head into the new year in a decent position knowing full well that our fate in the second half of the season is in our own hands. We are confident, there is a great feeling in this group and we have faith in their ability” added Martyn Fowler.

On a grey afternoon at the Memorial Ground the students of Cardiff Met laid down their marker from the off. Regathering a box kick they went straight on the attack taking play deep into the home side 22. Some early aerial tennis followed then from a lineout on halfway they struck. Moving the ball wide they sliced through the midfield and after some slick support they crossed for their first try. The conversion followed 0-7. From the kick off the Wanderers responded well. Driving hard at the first scrum of the game they gained a penalty in front of the posts and Paul Short stepped up to reduce the arrears with a penalty 3-7. The game ebbed and flowed as both sides looked for weaknesses and after good defensive jackaling a penalty allowed Short to set up a good field position. The Wanderers forwards sensed an opportunity with Rob Lewis leading the way. Driving at the heart of the defence they probed and probed only to see the ball spilled when, with the line beckoning, the ball was released wide. The students recovered and after a defensive high ball was dropped they gained another foothold in the Wanderers 22. Piling on the pressure of their own the home side was forced into a long defensive set after an initial driving lineout and after a second penalty for dropping the maul another drive resulted in the second converted try 3-14. With conditions making it difficult to move the ball there was plenty of aerial kicking on show with the students generally more effective in their placement of kicks as the home side struggled to find the continuity in their play. Late in the half the Wanderers had a chance to reduce the arrears when, after good jackaling by James Loxton, a penalty gave them a lineout in the Met 22. Unfortunately, the lineout was stolen and the students cleared the ball to end the half 3-14.

More aerial tennis started the second half with the Wanderers gaining a penalty for a challenge in the air on Will Adams Jones. Once again the position was lost by poor lineout work and the Met cleared the danger.  With the heavy ground making open play difficult for both sides the game became a little stagnant between the 22s. The Wanderers sent for the cavalry and Mike Owen’s first act was to gain a penalty at a ruck. The penalty was kicked deep and the Wanderers attempted to drive the lineout over. Superb defence from the students halted the drive and the referee awarded the scrum to the visitors as the maul collapsed. It seemed that the Met would clear their lines but the ball squirted out of the scrum. Ethan Lloyd was first to react and he picked up the loose ball. With the line in sight he fed Phil Pariyo who crossed for the Wanderers try. Short converted from the touchline and the home side were back in the contest at 10-14. With their winning position under threat the Met showed why they are such a strong side in not only student rugby but club rugby as well. They started to control the possession and when the Wanderers had little sniffs of a chance they were quick to halt any progress. A couple of silly penalties allowed the visitors to establish good field position late in the game and from that point they were not going to relinquish their hold on proceedings. The Wanderers defended valiantly trying to hold on to their losing bonus point and as injury time ticked away it seemed that they would hang on but with the last play of the game the students struck. A scrum set up the position and the ball was moved into midfield and once again the space opened for the visitors to crash over for the final score of the game. Final Score 10-19.

Wanderers scorers:

Try: Phil Pariyo

Con: Paul Short

Pen: Paul Short

Massiv man of the match:  Tom Penry Ellis

Management Man of the match: Rob Lewis

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