Division 3 west
Cardigan 48 St Davids 8
Cardigan put their surprise defeat at the hands of Llangwm firmly behind them with a well deserved win over St Davids although the final scoreline was a little flattering as their opponents had played much better than this score suggests.
The Saints dominated the opening forty minutes and spent much of it in the Cardigan half but their inability to turn pressure into points cost them dearly and they ran out of steam after the interval and the hosts took full advantage and cashed in with some sparkling tries.
Embarrassed by the previous weeks performance the young Cardigan side were understandably very twitchy at the start as another shock defeat would have been tough to take. Far too often passes went to ground and any promising moves were wasted. This much to the frustration of coach Tudor Harries on the touchline and Cardigan played into the hands of the visitors and the Saints went close to scoring on several occasions.
After the break the Cardi’s played with more maturity and helped by the arrival of experienced bench players in scrum half Mathew Roebuck and rugged forward Dan Evans they played with more fluency and kept the ball far better which allowed the likes of Tom Taylor and Llyr Jones to break through and tries followed.
The visitors opened the scoring after only three minutes when Rhys Morgan slotted over a penalty after the Cardigan scrum had been sent backwards and this was a familiar pattern for the next half hour as the scrum fell apart on both sides.
The Saints were camped in the Cardigan 22 metre area for long periods but over elaboration and dropped passes saw at least three try scoring opportunities butchered and Cardigan got away with it. They rode their luck and went back up the other end of the field and crossed for a try through skipper Tom Taylor who led well from the front.
This score, created from quality line out play, saw the ball finally sticking in the hands and Taylor burst through to touch down to take his team in at the break 10-3 ahead with the Saints left scratching their heads as to how they were losing.
The introduction of former Crymych scrum half Matthew Roebuck proved to be the catalyst for change and his decision making and short sharp breaks gave his team the go forward they had been missing and two tries were scored in a few minutes. Centre Aaron Tomkinson dived over for the first of these after a powerful run from Taylor, and Roebuck added the second after some alert work by hooker Luke Palmer-Davies who showed neat football skills to dribble the ball along the touchline for Roebuck to pounce. Both of these were superbly converted by stand off Jones.
With Saints flanker Rhys Prince in the sin bin, another smart try followed when winger Gwern Phillips was put away after Roebuck produced another excellent run down the blind alley and this was converted to put the Cardi’s out of sight at 31-3. St Davids though were not finished and if there is ever a team that deserves the tag of never say die it is them and they bounced back with a try from centre Dylan Walsh.
Tomkinson added his second try of the match soon after this which was again converted by Jones before full back Llion Williams scored the try of the match with a set move that was well executed and finished off by Williams after skilful hands from replacement Iwan John.
A very welcome win for Cardigan and one to enjoy but they and their coach will not get carried away by this result as there is a great deal of work to be done in training and there are some formidable challenges lying in wait. Next up in the league is a trip to Laugharne followed by a derby match against Aberaeron and another very difficult assignment at St Clears.
This weekend Cardigan entertain Furnace in the opening round of the WRU Bowl.