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17 December 2018 / Club News

Cardiff edge out Ironmen in 9 try thriller.

MERTHYR FIGHT BACK FALLS SHORT AS CARDIFF GET A BONUS POINT WIN

MERTHYR 28 CARDIFF 34(Friday 14th December at wern sports complex)

This was a must win for the Blue and Blacks of Cardiff if they were to close the gap on Merthyr who are the current league leaders. Cardiff fielded a strong side with several Blues players as they came to match the strength of the home pack.  Cardiff started the much stronger team in the opening stages and soon took the lead when outside half Gareth Thompson slotted over a 35-meter penalty as Merthyr were caught off side. It was all Cardiff and they soon extended their lead when a break from center Max Llewellyn caused panic in the home defense and when the ball was recycled quickly, his co center Ben Thomas was on hand to break several tackles and find full back Ed Howley up in support who strolled over for the try, Thompson converted to give Cardiff a 0-10 lead. Merthyr battled back into the game looking for a score and it looked as if they would get one, when several drives near the line was well defended by Cardiff and when a pass just short of the line was intercepted by ex-ironman Ben Murphy he raced down field and fed Ben Thomas, who linked with wingman Matthew Powell who raced away for the line, but he was brought down short, but center Max Llewellyn was on hand to round off the score, which gave Cardiff a 0-15 lead. Merthyr tried desperately to get back into the game as the forwards took the game to Cardiff, with good carries from Captain Craig Locke, Paddy McBride, and number 8 Phil Rees, but great defense denied the home side any score. Leading 0-15 at half time it was important that Merthyr got a good start to the second half, but it was once again Cardiff that would stretch their lead further when a break from full Back Howley found replacement number 8 Tom Daley in space on the right flank and has he raced away he found Cardiff captain Joey Tomlinson inside who took the pass to race away under the posts, Thompson converted and Cardiff now led 0-22. This seemed to shock the ironmen into action and soon came the fight back, with center Arron Pinches making a fine inside break inside the Cardiff half and finding scrum half Justin James on hand to race in under the posts, full back Matthew Jarvis converted to close the gap 7-22. This spurred the home side on and this time it was Pinches who found a gap in the Cardiff Defense to race clear for the try, Jarvis converted, and it was game on 14-22. However, the fight back was short lived as a line-out inside the Merthyr half was moved wide and Llewellyn was the provider for co center Ben Thomas to race in, Thompson converted to give Cardiff a 14-27 bonus point lead. Back came Merthyr with replacement back row man Osian Davies making good ground inside the Cardiff half, which set the forwards to drive at the Cardiff Line, and when Cardiff Prop Peter Lloyd handled on the floor preventing and Merthyr score, Referee Dewi Phillips awarded a penalty try and yellow carded the prop, this closed the gap once again 21-29. Back came Cardiff as they put several drives together inside the Merthyr 25 and it looked as though they had scored when scrum half Martin Roberts had crossed hitting the posts pads, but the TMO had adjudged that an off the ball incident had stopped Merthyr from a tackle and awarded the penalty to Merthyr. With 10 minutes remaining Cardiff made the game safe when their dangerous backs once again spread the ball wide from a scum and this time it was Thomas that fed Howley who raced in for his second try. Leading 21-34 Merthyr didn’t give up and a fine break from replacement outside half found young Joseph Williams on his shoulder and he crashed over under the posts, Davies than drop kicked the conversion to close the gap 28-34, with time still left on the clock. Back came Merthyr with a last throw of the dice as the forwards drove down field and after several drives, Cardiff gave away a penalty, which Davies kicked deep into the Cardiff corner. With the last play of the game, the home pack drove Cardiff back over their own line with home captain been held up just short, but time had run out for the home side as referee Phillips blew for full time. This was a great advert for Premiership Rugby and credit to both sides with the visitors just hedging out the Merthyr side, in a great come after trailing 0-22 early in the second half.  After Saturdays results the ironmen remain on top of the Premiership table, but the gap has now been closed to, two points, with Pontypridd, Cardiff, and Ebbw Vale all chasing the champions in what should be an exciting second half to the season.

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS,14 J WILLIAMS, 13 A THOMAS,12 A PINCHES,11 J BAKER,10 R POWELL, 9 J JAMES,1 J HOWE,2 R WILLIAMS,3 L JONES,4 P MCBRIDE,5 C LOCKE©, 6 N WHITE,7 J PERKINS,8 P REES. 16 M DWYER,17 N TREVETT,18 R JAMES,19 H BARNES,20 O DAVIES,21 A HOSKINS,22 G DAVIES,23 J MARTIN.

SCORERS, J JAMES 1T, J WILLIAMS 1T, A PINCHES 1T, PEN TRY, M JARVIS, 2CONS, G DAVIES 1CON

REFEREE: DEWI PHILLIPS(ABERYSTWYTH).

 

   

 

 

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