Old Penarthians v Cardiff Saracens Match Report
Saturday 1st October 2016
After the Old Penarthians victory the previous week and two good training sessions under the watchful eyes of coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies the club welcomed Cardiff Saracens in a Division 3 East Central (B) match. The Sarries were second in the league behind Old Penarthians last season and were also promoted so it would be a good test to see if Penarthians could maintain their winning record from the two closely fought contests last term.
It turned out to be a relatively comfortable win to the home team by 29 points to 11, securing four league points with an added bonus point for scoring four tries. However, the result was not that certain at half time when Penarthians only led by 7 points to 6 thanks to a missed penalty kick from in front of the posts by Sarries outside half Adam Worthington on the stroke of half time.
The game had started well with Tom Sidford scoring a try after 6 minutes after a break through mid-field by Mike Nash which was supported by the forwards before the ball was released to Mark Sadler who passed on to Fearghas Gough who was tackled just short of the line but managed to place the ball for Sidford. Jonathan Crimp converted.
From this moment onwards the Old Penarthians were however always on the back foot as they constantly fell short of the referee’s interpretations of the laws and were penalised. This led to two yellow cards for back row forwards Matt Sutton and Joel deClaire and kept Cardiff Saracens in opposition territory. One rolling maul from a lineout in particular seemed sure to result in a try for the Sarries but valiant defence by Dave Hosking, Reggie Blake and Chad Wilson ensured the line remained intact. Two of the offences did however lead to successful kicks by Worthington.
The second half began with more discipline from the home team and despite being down to seven forwards a strong scrum pushed the Saracens back towards their own line. The ball was passed by Gareth Clancy to Crimp and when Wilson was held up short of the line Callum Wingren emerged from the ruck to score. Crimp converted for the two extra points.
Four minutes later a penalty from Crimp gave the Old Penarthians a 17 – 6 lead. Another yellow card was awarded to Wingren for a repeat infringement but for the next fifteen minutes the team played some very attractive rugby with the forwards and backs combining to great effect. Chances were created and both Rhys Lakin and Gough went close.
The best move of the match however did result in a try for Nathan Facey. The move had started when Clancy took a quick penalty and the forwards had pressurised the defence. Gough was than involved twice on the right hand side of the pitch before the ball was passed to Crimp. He dummied to Sutton on a straight run before passing behind him to Lakin, Sadler and then a try scoring pass to Facey who scored wide out on the left. Crimp converted.
The final score came from a lineout won by Jack Margetson when the forwards combined from ten metres out to maul the ball forward. Cardiff Saracens manged to stop the first attack but from another drive from substitute Chris Cobbold supported by fellow substitute Luke Crockett, Tom Sidford was the last man up to claim his second try of the match.
Concentration lapsed in the last few minutes of the game and Saracens launched some attacks from deep which eventually led to Saracens man-of-the-match, lock Gareth Lewis, scoring an unconverted try. The final whistle was blown soon after and Penarthians season continues to improve with a 29 – 11 victory.
This was a genuine team performance and some of the passing, in weather that was at times atrocious, was exceptional. The kicking option was also well used by Crimp under instruction from the coaches which ensured that the back line launched their attacks from the right areas of the pitch.
Next weekend the first team play at home to Rhayader, a team competing in Division 3 East (D), in the second round of the WRU Bowl competition. The 2nd team host Llantwit Fadre RFC 2nds in a friendly, also with a 2.30pm kick off.
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