Another perfect day greeted both teams at Old Penarthians RFC for this morning fixture. Both teams were using the game as a warm up match prior to their respective cup encounters, meaning that each player was 'playing for their places'.
Cardiff started strongly and recycled the ball cleanly in order for scrum half Liam Free (Glyncoed) to set his backs off on a number of excursions into their oppositions territory. Kane Hockin (Trowbridge) and Sam Scanlon (Creigiau) both enjoyed the physical encounters and their size was used to excellent effect in the ruck situations. The Cardiff backs tried at every opportunity to spin the ball along the line and although the Vale outside half Rhys Savawri marshalled his defence well an early overlap following a number of phases allowed Connor Martin (St. Johns) to run in the first try of the day converted by Liam Free (Glyncoed) The Vale displayed excellent determination from the kick off and immediately began to exert pressure on the visiting team. Led from the front by the excellent hooker Matthew Holder, the pack soon began to gain parity with the Cardiff side. A number of telling tackles and turnovers were made by influential number 8 Dan Holder and the Vale backs were given the opportunity to run at the Cardiff backs. Centre Nicky Griffiths enjoyed plenty of possession and endeavoured to set his wings free. Only a well organised defensive line prevented any breaches. Half time 0 -7 From the restart the Cardiff second row Tom 'Tito' Hayward (Radyr) and William Haines (Cathedral) drove into the heart of the Vale defence. The superb support of the Cardiff back row of John Hunt (Cathedral), Cameron James (Rumney) and Sydney Blackmore (Llandaff) was sublime to watch and a number of attacking plays ensued. The direct running of Teri Morgan Gee (Rumney) complimented his centre partner Jessie Lipitz Robic perfectly and further scores should have resulted. Cardiff's Oliver Joyce and Tom Edwards (both Creigiau) had their best games to date for their district and only last ditch tackles saved the Vale. One player should be singled out in this instance, the Vale number 14, Mathew Roberts. His pace and angles of running, coupled with a courageous defence were simply outstanding. One to look out for in the future! The second try of the game came following a good passage of play. The ball was used well and again, after a number of phases, winger Joel Croker (St Albans) was set free to run over unopposed. Free again converted from wide out. The match finished Vale 0 - Cardiff 14 Good luck to the Vale in their plate semi final match v Llanelli on Wednesday. Man of the Match - A number of excellent performances from both sides, but one to stand out was Tom Candlin (Rhiwbina). Following an early knock he was instrumental in disrupting Vale possession and creating plenty of opportunities for his team mates. An unsung hero!
Judgement Day IV is nearly upon us. The showpiece event, held for the fourth year running at the Principality Stadium, will see Cardiff Blues facing Ospreys, followed by the clash between Scarlets and the Dragons.
For the past two seasons you may have noticed an artist in the crowd and drawings appearing on twitter and TV. These collections of drawings were all produced from life, on the spot without the use of a camera in order to capture the vibrancy, emotion and atmosphere of the moment.
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