Newcastle Emlyn 13 Cardiff Met 20:
Newcastle Emlyn opened their new season with a disappointing defeat at the hands of a Cardiff Met side who were supremely organised in all departments.
The wet and windy conditions at Dol Wiber made life difficult for both teams with the hosts in particular looking out of sorts and producing a very rusty performance for coach Marc Lloyd.
The opening score of the game came after just ten minutes when from a line out on the half way line the ball was passed to 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 caused problems for the Emlyn defence and it took them 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 home prop Gethin Davies. Some poor play by the hosts 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 and the visitors 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 the red and whites 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 spot and they won a constant stream of quality possession and often disrupted and stole ball on the home throw.
After an hour the Emlyn coaches sent on Mike Jones at scrum half and Joel James in the back row and the pair 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 and from loose play outside half, Setaro made an incisive break and fed Owain Powell who looked certain to score but was brought down short of the line.
Newcastle Emlyn quickly recycled the ball and moved it wide and winger Llyr Davies looked certain to score in the corner but he was tackled and bundled into touch.
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.
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 which was converted by Moorhouse to take the losing bonus point away from the home side.
However the Students were penalised at the re-start and then a further ten metres were added for back chat and fly half Setaro stroked the ball through the posts to give the home side a losing bonus point.