Fixture

Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 17 - 20 Cardiff Met RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Lloyd Castle
Conversion 1
Jonathan Bayliss
Try 1
Benjamin Williams-jones
Try 1
Steffan Jones
Try 1
Andrew Nurse
1 Try
William Gibson
1 Try
Corey Lewis
1 Try
Russell William Bennett
1 Conversion
1 Penalty

Match Report
06 October 2019 / Team News

STUTTERING STUDENTS MAINTAIN UNBEATEN START TO SEASON

Cardiff Met arrived at Ystalyfera looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the Specsavers Championship against a team looking to register their first league points. When looking at the results of both teams prior to this fixture one might have been expecting the students to gain another comfortable win. The home side however, had other ideas in what proved to be a hard fought contest.

Ystalyfera started strongly and began to establish themselves inside the students' half. This period of pressure eventually resulted in scrum half Ben Jones crawling over from 5 metres for the opening score with full back Steffan Castle converting to give the home side the lead 7-0. From the restart the students tried hard to impose their game plan, looking to 'up the tempo' of the game and move the ball from all areas of the field allowing them to create a period of sustained pressure in and around the Ystalyfera 22. During this period the students were awarded a couple of very kickable penalties but on each occasion chose to 'tap and go', looking to maintain any tempo they were able to create in the game. This approach was eventually rewarded when full back Andrew Nurse went over for the students opening try, with Russell Bennett converting to bring the scores level at 7-7.

Ystalyfera worked their way back into the game with their scrum, in particular, gaining the upper hand over the Cardiff Met pack. Indeed, it was from a Cardiff Met scrum which the Ystalyfera pack were able to turn over that the next score came, with outside half Gareth James sending out a lovely pass to centre Jonathan Bayliss who went over. The conversion was missed but the home side now led 12-7.  Again from the restart, Cardiff Met went on the attack and following a number of penalties being awarded against the home side, referee Mr Jonathan Evans warned them that if this continued then he might be forced to take further action. Almost immediately, Ystalyfera infringed once again and the referee was left with no option other than to send the offending player to the sin bin. Cardiff Met opted to take the resulting penalty kick and reduced the home lead to12-10. As the mist and drizzle descended, so too did the quality of play with both teams struggling to put together anything of note. The home scrum however, was still in the ascendancy and when they were able to push the students off their own ball at a scrum inside the Cadiff Met 22, number 8 Steffan Jones was able to crash over for the home team. The conversion was missed but it gave the home team a 17-10 lead going in to half time.

Ystalyfera started the second half brightly and gained a useful field position in and around the Cardiff Met 22. When the home side were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, inside the students' 22 they opted for a scrum rather than taking the kick at goal. Despite having the dominant scrum, Ystalyfera chose to release the ball to their backs and some resolute defending by the students enabled them to turn over possession and clear their lines. Cardiff Met then began to enjoy the majority of possession and continued to try and play from all areas of the field, when they might have been better advised taking the opportunity to establish themselves inside the home 22. The students were able to create a nice try during this period for captain Will Gibson, the conversion was missed and the game was very much in the balance at 17-15.

As the game entered the final quarter the home side made changes to the front row which had a significant impact on the game, it was now the students who were beginning to dominate this phase of play. Despite enjoying the lions share of possession, Cardiff Met were struggling to break down a determined home team which stuck to their game plan of trying to slow down possession and the tempo of the game at every opportunity, which frustrated the students who continued to look for opportunities to attack from all areas. Cardiff Met did eventually take the opportunity to establish a lineout platform inside the home 22 and from the driving maul which developed, hooker Corey Lewis broke free to score in the corner to put the students ahead for the first time 20-17.  As the game drifted into the final minutes there was no real threat from either side and the students will undoubtedly have been relieved to hear the final whistle and see their unbeaten start to the season continue. 

Whilst the students may have arrived at Ystalyfera looking for all five points from this game, and may well reflect upon some of their tactical naivety for prolonged periods, credit must go to the home side in producing a thoroughly commited performance and they will have been pleased to gain their first point of the season whilst reflecting on what might have been.  Our thanks to Ystalyfera for a hard fought encounter on the field and your excellent welcome and hospitality off the field. We look forward to welcoming you to Cyncoed later in the year.

(Image: Andrew Nurse crosses for Cardiff Met's first try)

 

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