Seasiders show class
7:02am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Sport
THIS Penarth Rug by Club senior side is still a ‘work in progress,' but head coach Paul Williams and his team have a vision and this accomplished win against previously undefeated opponents clearly shows how this is taking shape.
Unfortunately, for the hosts, they knew none of this as they set about forcing the pace in the first 20 minutes. Full-back G Williams missed an early penalty chance, but made no mistake after eight minutes as the Seasiders conceded a penalty in the scrum.
Gwernyfed were generally in full control at this point, but they were struggling to take advantage of all their possession and Penarth began to make good use of what little ball they were able to get hold of as James Crothers made a break up the middle. The recycled ball was moved left and then quickly right and Joe Page was clean through with two to beat. The second tackler got his man, but conceded a penalty and the Seasiders’ pack drove over, with Page the try scorer.
That was it, the spell was broken and Penarth never again looked as if they would lose. Enter the short-passing game from the back division which all of a sudden asked Gwernyfed all sorts of problems to which they turned out to have no answers.
After 30 minutes, the Seasiders extended their lead after conceding ground in a five-metre scrum as Michael Gubb made good use of a hurried pass and touched down in the corner.
Trailing 3-10, Gwernyfed endured a tongue-lashing from their captain, which didn’t seem to settle their nerves to any extent. Further pressure from the visitors soon told and Mike Hurley converted a 40 metres penalty to leave Penarth 13-3 in the lead at half-time.
The second half didn’t start well for the hosts as the Seasiders took full control. A slow-build up in their own half suddenly erupted as Hurley suddenly swerved past three defenders on his own 10-metre line and delivered a perfect back-of-the-hand pass to Matt Sutton. The replacement flanker outpaced the defence and went over under the sticks.
With the visitors now enjoying a comfortable lead of 20-3, the home side decided they had to show they were better than the scoreline suggested and made a real effort to claw their way back into the game. When inside centre G Dodd finally broke through, it seemed easier to score the inevitable try, but all that ensued was a knock-on.
Penarth once again worked it upfield with perfectly-judged short passes, but, as they crossed the home 22, Ben Donovan was given too much to do and they had to settle for a scrum. This was driven to the Gwernyfed line, but the final pick-up was fumbled. The next scrum was going the same way, but first the home scrum-half stuck his boot into the front row and then the blindside flanker came unbound and claimed the ball illegally on the deck. Newport referee Stephen Nash had little option but to go between the posts and award a penalty try.
The Seasiders went all-out for the grand finale, but it only served to give the hosts a crumb of comfort at the end of a disappointing afternoon as replacement D Thomas intercepted a hurried pass and sprinted 50m to score the consolation try.
Next up at the Athletic Field are old adversaries St Peters, who have enjoyed two comfortable wins against the bottom two clubs following an opening day defeat against Gwernyfed.
Penarth: James Candy, Ben Donovan, Mike Hurley, Michael Gubb (Mike Rowe), James Crothers, James Thatcher, Rhys Morgan (Chris Mortimer), Gary Power (Richard Merrettt), Joe Page, Sean O’Sullivan, Richard Ball, Jon Boland, Scot Mackie (Ben James), Mike Clare, Matt Sutton
League Division 3 South-East - Saturday, September 28 - PENARTH v St Peters; kick-off 2.30pm
Up-to-date league table:
P W D L F A Pts
Cardiff Quins 3 3 0 0 98 59 14
Pontyclun 3 2 0 1 89 45 11
St Peters 3 2 0 1 91 54 11
PENARTH 3 2 0 1 75 57 10
Gwernyfed 3 2 0 1 67 70 9
Porth H'quins 3 2 0 1 51 70 9
Wattstown 3 2 0 1 52 57 8
Pentyrch 3 1 0 2 48 45 7
Fairwater 3 1 0 2 57 66 6
Aberdare 3 1 0 2 51 52 5
Brecon 3 0 0 3 50 86 1
Tylorstown 3 0 0 3 23 91 0