17 December 2017 / Team News

A Draw at Dôl Wiber


Right from the start the Red and Whites showed the intent to emulate their bonus point winning performance against Tata Steel the previous week in this first home game in December.

The Emlyn forwards took the match to Cardiff Met from the outset with some powerful drives from back rowers Joel James and Luke Kendall soon taking them within striking distance of the Student’s try line. The forwards held on to the ball, or so they believed, to set up another drive but wing Llŷr Jones seized it, diving over under the posts for the Red and White’s first try, converted by outside half Ashley Sutton.

A few minutes later Cardiff Met scored their first points through the boot of their outstanding full back George Simpson when an offence was spotted by referee Elfyn Morris Roberts of Swansea, near the centre of the field.

The Red and Whites continued to dominate the forward battle having gained the edge in set pieces during the first quarter. In the lineout Cardiff Met struggled, even on their own throw, with some skilful jumping from second row Dylan Davies disrupting any quick ball for the Students while winning several against throw for Emlyn.

This provided ample possession to launch attacks at Cardiff Met with some excellent interplay between the forwards and backs.

When second row Dyfed Morgan got the ball, he made a powerful run from his own half, braking several tackles as he charged deep into Cardiff Met territory. The move continued through numerous phases with more tackle breaking runs from Kendall and James allowing captain Alex Williams to cross for a try, converted by Sutton.

Cardiff Met then got their passing game going using their fast, skilful backs to run at the Emlyn defence. The ball went from touchline to touchline but due to committed defending from hardworking tacklers like prop Emrys Davies and openside Calum Evans they were unable to cross the gain line. The pressure eventually told and the Students were awarded a penalty, kicked by the reliable boot of Simpson.

Cardiff Met continued attacking from the restart with their backs stretching the Emlyn defence from one side of the field to the other. This eventually resulted in a penalty in the tackle area, kicked again by Simpson from close to the halfway line.

From the restart it was the same again from the Students but this time the Red and Whites were ready for them. Outside centre Teifion Davies had lined up his man and the scramble to retain possession after his crunching tackle provided a penalty for Emlyn, kicked by Sutton to take the score to 17-9 at half time.

The Student’s half time team talk obviously did the trick and they redoubled their efforts to play to their strengths, running good angles from deep with quick passing to try and cross the Emlyn defensive line. The pressure eventually lead to a penalty which allowed full back Simpson to close the gap to 5 points.

The Red and Whites then brought on some fresh legs in the forwards with veteran prop Dai Bryant on for Gethin Davies at tight head and Elliott Rees replacing Dylan Davies.

Cardiff Met continued their attacks using their fast running backs. Momentum carried a player high onto the shoulder of Calum Evans during a tackle and while his feet appeared to touch first as he came to ground referee Roberts considered it to be a tip tackle and held up a yellow card.

The Students kicked to touch and executed what looked like a training ground move with quick ball from the lineout carried by the forwards through a number of phases allowing hooker Shawn Howard to cross for the try, converted by Simpson’s accurate boot to take Cardiff Met into the lead for the first time 17-19.

They attacked again from the restart but when Emlyn held up a player the referee deemed that his knee had touched the ground and awarded a penalty for not releasing the tackled player, kicked again by Simpson.

The Red and Whites were now chasing the game and with only the last quarter to go, made some further changes to try and regain the momentum. This saw the welcome return from injury of hard working flanker Owain Powell on for Joel James with Dai Jones replacing Emrys Davies at loose head.

The Emlyn forwards mounted a series of attacks with Cardiff Met working hard to defend their line, Emlyn eventually crossed but the ball was held up. The forwards drove forward again following the scrum but were unable to make progress against a solid defence. A change of tactics was required so the ball was quickly passed through the hands allowing wing Llŷr Freeman to score in the corner to equalise at 22-22. The angle of the conversion was too tight for Sutton.

Emlyn attacked again from the restart but were penalised for holding on. Step forward the Student’s full back George Simpson who’s pinpoint kicking had been a thorn in the Red and White’s side from the very start. His outstanding performance had amassed 17 of his sides 22 points. The potentially match winning kick appeared to be at the limit of his range and he performed his usual trick of tossing his kicking tee forward as the referee turned his back to take up his position. This time the Dôl Wiber crowd were having none of it, a roar went up from the stand, referee Roberts turned and realised what had happened and marched Simpson back to the mark. The kick was taken, rebounding off the base of an upright and was quickly kicked out of play by the Red and Whites to end the game.

Emlyn will have been relived to have achieved a draw in a game which started so promisingly and despite the relative try count could have gone badly wrong. They will be hoping to take the best from this performance into their next encounter at Dôl Wiber, the local derby with Championship high flyers Narberth, on the 30th December.


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