IN their first fixture of the New Year , the Penarth youngsters struggled to compete against a strong Rumney team and were outplayed in every aspect.

Although they had not played Rumney for a couple of seasons, Penarth knew they faced a stern task, but, with recent promising performances, felt they had a good chance of competing well.

Knowing Rumney were going to be an organised outfit with some useful players, Penarth were on the front foot from the start and pushed their opponents off the first two scrums. However, they lacked suitable 'dog' in contact situations and failed to stick to the game plan from previous matches and training sessions.

Rumney had some dangerous and powerful runners who created numerous attacking threats and, although Penarth's Joe, Gryff and Luc tackled to their potential, they did not receive enough support from the rest of the back line. Rumney scored four tries in the first half with a mixture of well timed passes and also some luck after the ball rebounded into eager hands. On another occasion, Luc put in a textbook tackle on the Rumney centre's line break only to see their dangerous full back take a great support pass to score under the posts.

Shwoing faith in their ability, Penarth registered a consolation score in the first half when they bravely chose to run a penalty from their own line and, working the ball wide, Josh ran, chipped and regathered to beat all defenders and score under the sticks. Ben J converted.

The second half was a lesson in counter attacking for Penarth and, with Rumney having strong players coming off the bench, they hassled their opponents into some silly mistakes. However, not one of the Penarth team dropped their heads and all competed to the final whistle. Giving their all, Ellis, Tomo, Haaris and Tom G led by example in the forwards. Penarth did well to put the opposition under pressure at times but, without much cohesion and thought, showing a lack of organisation and leadership which can, however, be improved upon over the next couple of weeks. Rumney scored a further three tries in the second half.

Thanks go to all players, coaches and supporters of both teams for making this a very enjoyable fixture for all involved. And well done to Ethan in his first match of the season since rejoining the team.

Squad: Geraint, Niall, Tom J, Alex, Ellis, Tom G, Haaris, Tomo, Lyle, Dan, Liam, Ben E, Hugh, Morgan, Joe, Ben J, Henry W, Gryff, Josh, Luc and Ethan.

'Dame of the Game' - Ellis for his determined tackling and 'never give up spirit.'