Cardiff 42 v 12 Taunton
20 August 2016 - Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Match Report

Cardiff 42 Taunton 12

Cardiff ran in six tries as they beat Taunton Titans in their last pre-season friendly. The visitors were making their first visit to the Arms Park and provided tough opposition for the Blue & Blacks. The early stages belonged to the home side but the Titans defence was well up to the task. It took the Blue & Blacks 15 minutes to open the scoring. A clearance kick by the Titans was fielded by James Beal. He moved the ball back across the field to debutant Rhun Williams. He used his pace to get round the first line of defenders before drawing the full back with a beautifully timed passes to free Ceri Young. He had 30 metres to go and the winger scooted down the touch line to score. Gareth Thompson added the extras.

The second score belonged to the forwards. Thompson planted a penalty kick into the corner and from the drive hooker Joe Tomlinson continued his scoring form to plough over at the back of the maul. The Titans then came more into the game. A series of penalties saw the visitors gain a foothold in the home 22. A series of drives at the line were held up but when the ball went wider Sam Prior went over under the posts. Garry Kingdom added the extras.

The game was becoming a lot more open but with the rain and wind blowing straight down the ground handling became difficult. Cardiff scored their third try five minutes before the break. This time the conditions didn't hamper a sweeping move. Thompson making the final break before slipping a great pass to Beal to score. But the Titans had the last word on the half. Again a series of penalties - which saw Cardiff reduced to fourteen - gave them great field position. A well worked catch and drive ended with another score for a hooker, this time Alex Spurdle getting the touchdown.

The second half was a bit disjointed as both teams made a raft of changes to allow as many players as possible to get some game time. Cardiff's fourth try came from the pack again. Tomlinson getting his second brace of tries in the space of two games. The Blue & Blacks were now benefitting from a lot of possession and it was no surprise when the fifth try came. Several thrusts at the line were thwarted but the last one illegally reducing the Titans to fourteen. A few moments later and that became thirteen following a deliberate knock on. From the scrum option taken by the Blue & Blacks Liam Free scrambled over. Thompson converted superbly from the touch line.

That left just enough time for one final score. A pass in mid-field from the Titans landed on the floor. Olli Smyth was on hand to nudge the ball through before gathering under pressure to score in the corner. David Bird followed in Thompson’s footsteps to land another conversion from wide out.

After the game Cardiff continued a long tradition of presenting first time opponents with a Cardiff RFC shield.

Official : Peter Evans (Wales)

Cardiff Taunton