Another cup campaign started with an away fixture against Beddau, our first competitive fixture against them. We were hoping for a game in the sunshine, but were greeted by an overcast and extremely windy afternoon at Mount Pleasant Park.
After winning the toss, Jamie Ringer, captain for the day, chose to play the first half going up the slope and into what seemed to be a force 9 gale!
With all the elements in the home teams favour, we were expecting to spend a lot of time inside our own half and this proved to be the case. It didn’t take long for the elements to play a part, Beddau kicked the ball long down the field regained possession at the breakdown and scored an unconverted try out wide after a couple of minutes. We were able to take control of possession and slowly moved up field after some good work by the forwards. A solid platform was provided by the scrum and after more good work from the supporters Man of the Match, Dan Godfrey, the backs moved the ball wide to send Darren Ryan over in the corner for an unconverted try in the 8th minute, which turned out to be our only score of the half. At the after match presentations, the Beddau sponsors chose Lee Jarvis, as Cardiff’s Man of the Match.
In a break of play, Rhys James, who is recovering from his recent injury and his helicopter ride, was heard to say that the linesman provided by Cardiff was running around in circles, because he had his boots on the wrong feet!
Beddau were able to control territory and possession and scored two more tries in the first half in the 14th and 40th minutes to give them a 20 – 5 half time lead.
When the teams returned for the second half, our returning Blues play, Steve Taylor replaced Matthew John, with Jimmy Norris moving to the wing. We took no time in using the wind advantage and Lee Jarvis, wearing jersey No 7, kicked a penalty in the 42nd minute. Our first try in the half came after a hopeful up and under by Jarvis which was recovered and Ian George scored in the 45th minute, with Jarvis adding the conversion from out wide.
The gap was closed with another Jarvis penalty after Beddau were penalised after handling at the breakdown. Another penalty came our way, following a slight disagreement between the sides, with the referee reversing his penalty decision. We chose to kick to the corner and after winning the lineout the forwards kept the ball tight before feeding Owen Ruttley to dart over by the posts for another try, which was again converted by Jarvis, we were now in the lead for the first time after 62 minutes. Following this score, it was good to see Ben Philips come onto the field, following his injury earlier in the season. The lead was further extended with Jarvis kicking his third penalty in the 72nd minute.
Beddau started to exert some pressure in our half of the field but a loose pass was intercepted by Jamie Ringer who ran 50 metres before passing unselfishly to Richard Smith to run in under the posts for a try in the 76th minute, which was again converted by Jarvis.
Following Smith’s score he was replaced by Rhys Dyer, this meant the back line was reshuffled again, with Dyer going to scrum half, Nathan Rees moving into the centre and Ruttley moving onto the wing, who unfortunately never received a pass to show what he could do out wide.
The game finished with us being under pressure and Beddau scoring the last try of the game, which was converted out wide in the 81st minute.
Beddau were tough opponents, who played the conditions well and we are pleased with the 35 – 27 win, which gives us a home tie in the next round against Bridgend on the 19 February. This will be an all pay game, with concessions for season ticket holders.