Archers miss and Wanderers hit double as Front row dominates

Cardiff Met 10

Wanderers 25

“A much more assured performance all round. This group now realise if they put the effort in during the week the end point is much more satisfying” Commented head coach Martyn Fowler

A passing wizard commented “The Wand was mightier than the Bow today”

“Todays defence was the key, the scrum was dominant and even the lineout which still misfires at times shows signs of what is to come. All round very pleased” added Manager Mark Gould.

On a cloudy but bright afternoon in Cyncoed the modified rules teams currently play under were in evidence early on when a stab through the home side defence was minored and they were then forced into dropping out from their goal-line. This kick went straight out and the Wanderers got a foothold deep in Met territory as the lineout was positioned 5 metres out. Unfortunately for the visitors the advantage was lost as the lineout was neatly picked off and the home side cleared their lines. Both sides settled into their play but clear-cut chances were few and far between as the defences clearly dominated and execution in attack was tentative. The Wanderers scrum started to exert pressure as the front row of Nathan Evans, Dan Watts and Jack James showed glimpses of the dominance that was to prevail later. As the first quarter ended it was the visitors who looked more assured. Moving the ball well in attack with Rhys Beynon making good ground they were held up short. After recycling the Met defence was caught offside and Gruff Tough stepped up to break the deadlock with a penalty 0-3. The home side were stung into action and they hit straight back. The Wanderers failed to deal with the kick off well and Cardiff Met were straight on the attack. A penalty gave them great field position and they forced their way over for the opening try of the game. This was converted 7-3. A stolen lineout set the Wanderers back on the attack and they started to exert some control over the game. Despite that the home side edged ahead after 31 minutes with a penalty 10-3. The Wanderers were forced into a change with Tough leaving the field and Amir Saleh moving from fullback to outside half but as the game entered the final minutes of the half the visitors struck twice. Firstly, a lineout drive deep in Met territory went close and after some more close quarter driving on the blindside Watts popped up to crash over to land the Wanderers first try. Saleh converted 10-10. Soon afterwards on the stroke of half time the visitors added a second try. From another lineout drive Max Wootton went close and when the ball was recycled Josh Male crashed over. Saleh converted to send the sides into the break at 10-17.

The second half saw the home side dominate the possession and most of the territory but the Wanderers defence was so solid that at no time did they look in danger of giving up the lead. On a rare sortie into the Met 22 another lineout early in the half allowed Mike Owen to crash over giving the visitors breathing space on the scoreboard at 10-22. Cardiff Met often had penalty chances and free plays but they struggled to find the key that would unlock the Visitors defence. Not aided by a scrum which came under more and more pressure as the Wanderers scrum dictated proceedings. At one point frustrations and discussions as to where the best Indian restaurants were in Freshers week spilled into some handbag slinging but as time went on and both sides emptied their bench the Wanderers control was such that the result didn’t seem in doubt. Saleh was forced off for a brief spell as a cut under his eye was attended to, which appeared to see Emyr Jones (second row) starting a new career at outside half. Saleh returned to put any danger of a late Met revival to bed as he landed a penalty to make it 10-25. The last 8 or 9 minutes saw the home side throw everything at the visitors but as attacks became more and more desperate, so the defence looked more and more assured. Saleh was finally forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury but the scoring was done for the afternoon and the Wanderers ran out 10-25 winners at the final whistle.

Wanderers scorers

Tries: Dan Watts, Josh Male, Mike Owen

Con: Amir Saleh

Pens: Gruff Tough, Amir Saleh

Management MOM: Max Wootton
Supporters MOM: Amir Saleh

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