2016/2017 Principality Premiership
Aberavon 15 v 22 Cardiff
04 November 2016 - Talbot Athletic Ground, Port Talbot

Match Report

Aberavon 15 Cardiff 22

Cardiff took Aberavon's unbeaten Premiership record and recorded a second win over the Wizards in the space of a month.

Having won the Challenge Cup at the Arms Park early in the month and in the last minute last weekend it was to be another last minute win for the Blue & Blacks. The first quarter was a very stop start affair as both sides looked to gain the advantage with little luck. Diggy Bird got the first points of the game with a penalty, but it was the Cardiff defence that kept the Blue & Blacks ahead. That was until a loose pass allowed Lee Purnell to score an unconverted try.

Cardiff though were getting the upper hand especially in the scrum where the front five were destroying the Wizards and winning penalties nearly every time. From one of those penalty awards Bird put Cardiff back ahead. The back row was also playing a massive part in the game. Ben Thomas was getting over the gain line with his ball carries, Morgan Sienaiwski seemed to have been split in three as he was everywhere on the pitch and Johnny Edwards was doing what he does best, disrupting the opposition ball and stopping them playing. Just before the break another scrum penalty award was converted by Bird and Cardiff went into the changing rooms 9-5 ahead.

The second half saw the Wizards come out with more purpose and where the offload wasn't sticking in the first half it was in the second. But the Cardiff’s defensive effort was up to the task. A line out near the Blue & Black line was driven on and it looked like resulting in a certain try. But Kieron Assarratti and Rob Lewis got in the middle of the maul and stopped it in its tracks. From the next lineout near the line James Murphy was able to steal the ball and clear the danger. And the scrum was still doing a job with Rob Lewis leading the way.

It wasn’t only the forwards who were performing. Liam Free and Bird were kicking the Blue & Blacks into good positions on the field and with Will Rees Hole and Harri Miilard doing a job in mid-field Aberavon were closed down at every opportunity. Going forward Cardiff had a potent threat in James Beal, Ceri Young and Cody Rees and when they set up a position on the Aberavon 22 it allowed Bird to drop a goal to push Cardiff further ahead. That spurred the Wizards into a frenzy and when they drew level with a few minutes left the game was set for an exciting finish.

And it nearly saw a try straight from the kick off. Paul King stopped Aberavon in their tracks and when the ball went loose Rhys Carre hacked it through. Beal was able to latch onto it and but for a stumble he would have scored. But he wasn't to be outdone. Cardiff were soon back in possession of the ball and when Free and Bird spotted space down the blind side they put Rees Hole in space. The centre shot down the touch line and with a beautifully timed pass found Beal. He still had a bit to do but the speedster wasn't going to be stopped and he scored under the posts. Bird converted and the referee blew for no side to spark the celebrations.

Attendance: 724

Official : Adam Jones (Wales)

Aberavon Cardiff