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03 September 2016 / Team News

Cardiff Met prove too strong

NEWCASTLE EMLYN 13  CARDIFF MET. 20

A wet and windy Dol Wiber saw Emlyn welcome visitors Cardiff Met. to the first Championship game of the season and it was the students who went away with their first ever victory at Dol Wiber. To describe the Emlyn performance as early season rustiness would be an understatement, as the normally fluent Emlyn back line failed to function as a unit in attack or defence, presenting coach Marc Lloyd with more than a few problems to work on. Without looking for excuses, injuries and unavailability of crucial players severely disrupted their preparations for this match. The students on the other hand had been training every day, all day for the last three weeks and it showed in their organisation and play. Credit must go to the Emlyn defence in only conceding three tries as they, at times, defended desperately as the Students looked to score the all-important bonus point.

The opening score of the game came after just ten minutes and probably was due more to the Emlyn midfield not having played together ever before as to the good play by the visitors. From a line out on the half way line the ball was passed to the powerful visitors inside centre, Miles Moorhouse, who ran straight through two would be tacklers and perfectly drew Emlyn’s last defender to put fellow centre Robbie Smith over for an unconverted try in the corner.

The speed of the Cardiff backs was causing problems for the Emlyn defence and it took Emlyn some twenty five minutes before they were able to exert any sort of worthwhile pressure on the visitors. A counter attack initiated by Emlyn full back Shaun Leonard led to the students being penalised at a scrum some fifteen metres from their line. With the strong cross wind making kicks at goal a lottery the home side opted for another scrum. This time the ball shot out of the side of the scrum but quick thinking centre Alun Howells picked up the bouncing ball and was brought down five metres short of the line. He managed to feed powerful number eight Luke Kendall who, using all his strength, managed to force the ball down by the posts despite the attentions of some four defenders. Outside half Nico Setaro added the extra points.

The students came back at Emlyn as the half drew to a conclusion. Outside half Alex Seers was just wide with a long range penalty attempt from the ten metre line and was unlucky to go off injured after a collision with Emlyn prop Gethin Davies. Some poor play by the home side saw them placed under a great deal of pressure and it was only some fine defensive play by winger Llyr Jones that managed to keep the students out. Emlyn however were unable to clear their line and ended up  conceding a lineout five metres out. Showing the benefit of their training and organisation they executed a perfect peel around the front of the line enabling second row James Little to crash over in the corner for another unconverted try just before half time.

The start of the second half saw Emlyn exert some pressure on the visitors’ line, but some fairly basic errors allowed the students to clear their line comfortably. Cardiff showed far greater urgency especially when Emlyn made any sort of mistake, which unfortunately as the half went on increased in frequency. Their line out work was exemplary and a lesson to the Emlyn forwards as they won a constant stream of quality possession and often disrupted and stole ball on Emlyn’s throw.

After quarter of an hour the Emlyn coaches sent on Mike Jones at scrum half and Joel James in the back row and they did bring some much needed urgency to the Emlyn play. Their cause was not helped however when flanker Brynmor Jones was binned for kicking the ball out of a ruck. From this offence the Students opted to go for touch, Emlyn managed to stop the resultant driving maul but scrum half Ben Williams cleverly fed second row Alex Dombrandt who crossed in the corner for their third try, superbly converted by Miles Moorhouse.

This did spur Emlyn into some sort of action and some powerful runs by Joel James took play into the Cardiff twenty two. From loose play outside half, Setaro, made an incisive break and fed Owain Powell. The flanker looked certain to score but was brought down short of the line, Emlyn quickly recycled the ball and moved it wide. Winger Llyr Davies looked certain to score in the corner but instead of diving for glory opted to come back inside and was comfortably tackled by the defenders.

On the half hour another powerful run by James led to the Students conceding a penalty on their twenty two line which Setaro converted to bring the home side within reach of a bonus point. The visitors were determined to get what could be the all-important fourth try and bonus point. Emlyn’s midfield defence was once again opened up by the Met. centre’s try. Emlyn were unable to effectively clear their lines and clearance kicks were continually run back at them by the students.

Try as they might they could not breach the home defence with some excellent defensive work being done by the forwards. Deep in injury time Cardiff Met. were awarded another penalty in the Emlyn twenty two and they opted for the kick at goal. Converted by Moorhouse to take the losing bonus point away from the home side. Excellent referee Andrew Davies from Aberystwyth had other ideas though, and the Students were penalised at the re-start and then a further ten metres were added for back chat. Outside half Setaro calmly walked up and stroked the ball through the posts to give the home side a losing bonus point which the team and their loyal supporters were relived to get.

 

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