6:04pm Saturday 17th August 2013
Fishguard RFC 0-61 Cardiff RFC
PREMIERSHIP side Cardiff ran in nine tries as they overcame a stubborn Fishguard team at The Moors.
In torrential conditions, the home side battled admirably, but the finishing power of the visitors proved too much as they crossed five times in the opening 40 minutes and followed that up with a further four tries in the second half.
Martyn Fowler’s men began the game with their strongest available XV and they were ahead within four minutes when hooker Aaron Fowler gathered his own grubber kick, before flicking the ball inside to scrum half Tom Slater who scored. Outside half Ceirion Thomas added the extras.
Thomas himself then sliced through from close range and added the extras to make it 14-0.
And after Fishguard winger Matthew George spilt a high ball, it was Fowler who crossed for a third try which Thomas again coverted.
But the hooker was then yellow carded for a high tackle on Fishguard outside half James Griffiths, and Steve Jenkins men subsequently enjoyed their best period of the match.
To Fishguard’s credit, they refused to take a backward step in the physical exchanges and after a period of possession, a Griffiths up and under caused confusion in the Cardiff defence but after the ball ran loose, referee Jason Griffiths called play back for a Seagulls knock on.
But the visitors struck two further blows before half time, winger Saipolu Tapaatoutai speeding over before centre Luke Ford also crossed, Thomas converting both to open up a 0-35 lead.
Cardiff made 13 changes at half time with a number of their academy players entering the fray, while the Seagulls also took the chance to give game time to the majority of their squad.
Given the conditions, handling errors on both sides were inevitable but after a scrappy start to the second period, replacement flanker Ben Roach powered over for a try that Jack Maynard converted and No 8 James Sheeky rounded off some good handling to score.
With the elements behind them, Fishguard did enjoy more territory in the second half and were presented with some attacking set piece positions, but were unable to find a way through the ferocious Cardiff defence.
And after withstanding some pressure, Fowler’s men again showed their attacking qualities in the final ten minutes.
Tapaatoutai added a second from close range before Stefan Jones finished things off with the try of the game – the replacement winger skipping past two tackles in his own 22 before outstripping the cover defence. Maynard converted both to make it 61-0.
The Seagulls did press in the dying moments and were awarded a close range penalty when Griffiths was impeded trying to execute a chip and chase, but they were unable to grab a consolation score when the ball was spilt in midfield.
Afterwards, Fishguard co-coach Huw Evans said: “It was always going to be difficult today against that kind of opposition, but we stuck at it and I’m pleased with how we carried the ball, especially given the conditions.
“It’s not necessarily the physicality that beats you with sides like Cardiff, it’s their skill levels, fitness and speed of thought.
“But it was a good experience for our boys to play players of that quality, and it also gave us a chance to look at a lot of players.”
Cardiff coach Fowler declared himself pleased with the run out, and also praised the hosts commitment.
“Considering the conditions I was pleased with how we approached the game, and we implemented a lot of the things we had worked on in training this week.
“We tried to play attractive rugby despite the weather.
“And full credit to Fishguard, they didn’t give an inch. A lot of sides would have given up in the closing stages but even at 0-61 down they really battled.”
Fishguard squad: Romeo Colella, Chris O’Connor, Adrian Squelch, Melvyn McVeigh, Dan Morris, Gavin Walsh, Owain Morgans, Mark James, Nathan Jenkins, Richard Hunter, Rhys Lewis, Simon James, Steve Jenkins (capt), Mark George, Chris Shousha, Jack Wilkinson, Randal Williams, Rhodri Morgans, Alun George, James Griffiths, Rhodri Thomas, Mike Jenkins, Dai Evans, Matthew George, Ed Bendall, Jason Evans, Gareth Adamson, Mark Jones, Kevin Ormond, Huw Evans, Lewis James.
Cardiff squad: Lewis Smout, Aaron Fowler, Ryan Harford, James Murphy, Dan Partirdge, Jamie Ringer, Jonathan Edwards(capt), Sam Feehan, Tom Slater, Ceirion Thomas, Saipolu Tapaatoutai, Tom Pascoe, Luke Ford, Rhys James, Ethan Lewis, Callum Lewis, Nick White, Miles Normandale, James Sheehy, Ellis Jenkins, Ben Roach, Garyn Lucas, Jack Maynard, Jack Huntley, Darren Ryan, Ollie Smyth, Stefan Jones, Gareth Walters.
Referee: Jason Griffiths.
Assistants: Tony Pratt and Andrew Miles.
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