Caerau Ely RFC | 1st Team 14 - 14 Cowbridge RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
24 March 2018 / Team News

Gritty defence earns a draw at Caerau Ely RFC

On a wet and windy Saturday afternoon Cowbridge travelled to Caerau Ely expecting a tough encounter from the much improved Cardiff side, who having lost 6 of their first 7 league games, were undefeated in their last 6 matches and gradually climbing up the table.

Caerau started well and put their simple but effective game plan into play with a series of good forward drives supported by strong running by their inside backs. They won a couple of penalties and were soon pressing the try line, only to give away a penalty themselves to let Cowbridge clear their lines.

The Cowbridge pack then started to win some good ball and released their backline to test the home defence with a good break through the centre taking play into the home 22m. A scrum to Cowbridge saw the Caerau backline encroach offside and a quickly taken tap penalty from scrum half Hywel Williams caught the home side napping and No 8 James Bennett was on hand to take the scoring pass. The try duly converted by Ben Wright for a 7-0 lead on 12minutes.
The Rest of the half was an arm wrestle with the Cowbridge pack starting to get the upper hand at the scrum, driving the home pack off their own ball on a couple of occasions, but a well organised and aggressive defence by Caerau, kept the Cowbridge backs quiet. The game was end to end stuff with both sides attacking and defending well. Caerau created some good phases to put pressure on Cowbridge but some poor handling let them down at times and they had to settle for a penalty opportunity on 33 minutes which went wide, and then another one just on half time which went under the crossbar.

With the wind behind them in the second half Caerau were soon on the attack but a resilient defence kept them at bay, only for No 8 Bennett to be shown a yellow card for a technical offence. However, 14 man Cowbridge dug in with skipper Richie Howson making a couple of crucial turnovers to ease the pressure. And it was Cowbridge who had the next chance with the home sides frustration boiling over as Cowbridge went through a good period of possession and made their way up the pitch, only for Wright to miss a penalty from 35m after 50 minutes.

The physicality of the match was starting to tell and Cowbridge lost prop Jon Bater soon after half time with his replacement, Sam Richards, only lasting 15 minutes before getting injured himself. 
Caerau continued to use the elements well to keep the pressure on and they were rewarded with a converted try after 64 minutes when they moved the ball wide following a series of forward drives to bring the scores level. 
Further injuries to Cowbridge caused some disruption to their scrum and as Caerau became more dominant up front the crowd sensed a further try was inevitable. It was however Cowbridge who scored against the run of play. Replacement scrumhalf Tom James somehow gathered the ball from the base of a rapidly retreating scrum and broke down the right hand touchline from inside his own half. Having beaten a couple of defenders, he drew the last man to feed the ball inside to veteran wing Will Williams who raced over and scored from 22m. Wright converted for Cowbridge to take a 14-7 lead with only 3 minutes of normal time remaining.  

From the restart Cowbridge made some good progress into the opposition half but a penalty saw Caerau clear to touch. A series of forward drives took them deep into the Cowbridge 22 and they went close to scoring with a couple of strong drives. The home fullback then made a determined dart for the line and despite a heroic defensive effort to stop him short of the line, the supporting forwards drove over to score close to the posts and an easy conversion tied the match at 14 all with the last kick of the game. Whilst disappointed not to have held on for the win, this was a tough encounter and Cowbridge’s gritty defence and never say die attitude ensured that they went home with a couple of hard won points.


The Youth put in another great show last  week against Cardiff Mets losing by 15-17.

Wing Evan Thomas scored a try converted by full back Evan Williams who then went on to score a length of the field try himself . Catching the ball in his own 22 metres he beat the chasing players with sidesteps before setting off upfield on a mazy run to score an excellent try.  He also added a penalty.
The club lost a great club member in Dai Parsons affectionately known as ' Snipsy ' on the weekend.Although he was known to be unwell  it was still a shock to hear that he has passed away. Player, coach to his son Naithan's junior team and then the youth and committee man Dai was a part of the club for many years. His mantra was always get stuck into them from the kick off,or words to that effect!His team talks to the Youth were legendary.
We send our condolences to Cheryl and family and friends at this sad time. 
This Saturday the 1st XV are home against Tonyrefail,followed by a two week international break before we travel to Old Penarthians on 17th February.The Youth are due to travel to Rumney on Saturday but please confirm with the club.
There are still places available on the club bus to Cardiff for the Scotland game,leaving at midday.If you want to reserve a seat there is a list on the Clubhouse notice board.

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