2016/2017 Fosters Challenge Cup
Aberavon 26 v 17 Cardiff
18 January 2017 - Talbot Athletic Ground, Port Talbot

Match Report

Aberavon 26 Cardiff 17

Dai Griggs scored a hat-trick for Aberavon as they secured a bonus point win over the Blue & Blacks at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

The Wizards were still looking to qualify from the pool as the game began, but were relying on a slip up by Bridgend. They needed to win with a bonus point and had bagged one of their four tries as early as the 5th minute. Cardiff had been on the attack and were closing in on the try line when the home side were awarded a penalty. As everyone thought a clearing kick would follow eyes were averted but the Wizards had other ideas. Taking a quick penalty they exploited the space that Cardiff had left. Full back Johnathan Phillips burst down the wing and released Jakob Williams who scored under the posts.

Cardiff were soon back on the front foot, but control of the ball was a problem for the Blue & Blacks all night and another move was halted because of a handling error. That allowed Aberavon to get into the Cardiff twenty-two and from a rolling lineout drive they were able to rumble Griggs over for his first try of the night.  And that lead was extended just before halftime as this time a sweeping move down the flank was rounded off by Griggs in the corner. Cameron Clement converted two of the tries as Avon went in 19-0 ahead at the break.

Cardiff were better in the second half and played with a lot more pace. Unfortunately the ball handling was still a problem. The Blue & Blacks got onto the scoreboard with a catch and drive try of their own. Ben Thomas being the man to smash his was over the line. Griggs bagged his third try after a break by fullback Phillips latched onto a loose ball. He scampered clear but was hauled down by Ceri Young, he was though able to get the ball away to allow Griggs to finish the move.

And he was nearly in for a forth. Young was again the saviour as his magnificent tackle and subsequent steal of the ball halted Griggs a few yards from the line. Cardiff did finish the game with a flourish. Lloyd Chalke had looked a threat all night and it was his outside break that set Lewys Montague away. The full back drawing the last man before putting Cameron Gibbon over. And Young was to score a great individual try to round off the scoring. Picking up the ball from the floor and assessing the situation in front of him he spotted forwards on the outside and used his pace to beat them on the outside before running the ball in under the posts. Diggy Bird converted both tries but the Blue & Blacks came away from the game empty handed. Aberavon had their bonus point win 26-17 but Bridgend also won meaning the Ravens went through as Pool winners.

Attendance: 390

Official : Elfyn Morris-Roberts (Wales)

Aberavon Cardiff