Wanderers blown away in last 20
Cardiff Met 50
“The game is 80 mins long. You cannot expect to play for 60 minutes and expect results to fall your way at Championship level” commented defence coach Andrew Roberts “In saying that we are working hard but we must learn to manage games, something that only comes with experience.”
“Its tough at the moment but there is a long term strategy to think of here. With WRU league changes coming in next season the goal is what happens next September” added Manager Mark Gould “Some tough conversations ahead.”
On a grey afternoon with a very strong wind in their faces the Wanderers were clearly going to have to battle for territory. The forwards were called into action early, carrying whenever possession allowed it, as kicking was not really an option. As one would expect the students showed a willingness to move the ball at every opportunity but the visitors were certainly up to the task and some good counter rucking and midfield defence gave up little in the way of chances despite the disparity in possession and territory. It took the Met 20 minutes to break the deadlock when a lovely snipe down the blindside opened up the defence and the home side were ahead 7-0. The Wanderers were forced into a change as number 8 Tommy Walsh was forced off to be replaced by Alfie Llewellyn. A period of decent play followed but as with any side starved of possession and territory execution became a little frantic. The visitors received a second blow when Morgan Williams suffered an injury and that resulted in a reshuffle in the back line. After 33 minutes the Wanderers eventually has a spell in the home side 22. A couple of penalties and some good carrying from Will Trethewey took the game to the Met line. Unfortunately a little over eagerness close to the line resulted in turnover ball and an easy clearance on the wind by the home side. The half ended with the visitors on the attack again but a spilled ball ended the half and the sides went into the break with the home side just ahead 7-0.
Buoyed by the strong wind on their backs the Wanderers began brightly. Once again the forwards carried well and after a series of close quarter drives prop Gareth Hall, on as a replacement in the front row, powered his way over besides the posts. Tommy Taylor converted to make it 7-7. Sadly, the visitors failings of this season reared their heads. Failing to control possession from the kick off the Met were allowed to attack. Creating space out wide a try was inevitable and when Ioan Cooper knocked on the referee sent him to the bin and awarded a penalty try 14-7. Not to be deterred the Wanderers forwards took up the cudgel and powered their way back into the home side 22. When a penalty was awarded 5 metres out Captain Max Wootton took it on himself to take the tap penalty and he powered over for the second try. Francis converted 14-14. Once again game management let the Wanderers down and allowed the Met to take the play deep in the Wanderers 22. The Met started to warm to the task and they were helped by the visitors seemingly wanting to play from deep when a hoof down the field may have been the better option. The students edged ahead again after a powerful scrum and then added a 4th try soon afterwards as the midfield cracks in the Wanderers side started to show 28-14. There was a brief rally by the visitors and Tom Francis stepped the defence and crossed for a third try but that was to be the end of the cheer for the Wanderers faithful. Confidence amongst the student backline soared and some slick handling and good offloading strode through ever more increasing would be tacklers. The Wanderers tired and the fitness of the home side shone through as tries started to flow. 3 tries followed most from deep with some excellent individual play by the home side and the gap on the scoreboard increased. The final whistle came as a relief to the visitors and the Met were well worthy their 50-19 victory.
Tries: Gareth Hall, Max Wootton, Tom Francis
Cons: Tommy Taylor (2)
Management Man of the match: Will Trethewey
Massiv Man of the Match: Max Wootton
Special Mention: Shaun O’Rourke