THE start of a new youth rugby season is always a busy time for coaches and committee as older players move on to senior rugby and the continuation of a youth squad is very dependent on the number of players moving up from the previous seasons Under 16s team.

Since commencing training in July it is pleasing to see that 15 new players have joined the Penarth RFC Youth squad, 12 of which are from the strong production line of the Junior section of Penarth Rugby club, with an additional three players starting as either new players, or re-joining the club after a short absence. This has boosted the numbers for the upcoming season to well over 30 players within the squad to provide strength and depth in all positions.

Last year's youth team managed to achieve one of its most successful seasons for many years winning the WRU National Youth Plate, The Cardiff and District BE League and were finalists in the East District Cup Final and the start of this season has seen the team open up with two good wins over the last two weeks, the first away to Bridgend Sports, and the second last Saturday at home at the Penarth Athletic field, when the team played Bargoed RFC Youth, from Gwent.

Following the cancellation of a Cardiff and District cup game scheduled against Taffs Wells last Saturday, Bargoed RFC Youth stepped forward and made the journey to the Athletic field to take on the Penarth boys in the first meeting between the two sides for many years.

With a strong squad of over 30 players attending from the Gwent side, it gave Penarth Youth coaches Simon Rees and David Williams an opportunity to play all of the Penarth squad, mixing the more experienced third and second year youth players with the first year boys.

The depth of talent within the squad was evident from the start when the Penarth pack took control of the set piece play, which allowed the new look exciting back line of the Youth to move the ball quickly to gain control of territory and dominate the opening 20 minutes. Centres George Roberts and Aron Arthur took the play to the Bargoed back line and following a break down of play, Penarth scrum Half Gruff Shewring exploited the blind side to open up the scoring with a well taken try.

From the kick off, the Penarth pack took the play back to the Bargoed half and strong running from forwards Ellis Smith and Alex Shore resulted in number 8 Nathan Frost storming over in the corner for a second try.

In the second 25 minutes, the Penarth coaches were able to introduce some of the first year players and it was pleasing to see that the dominance continued with further tries scored by Luke Kean -Adams and Ben Jones. The second period also saw some excellent strong running from new full back Matthew Frost, brother of Nathan, who was making his debut for the Youth. Unfortunately though, whilst putting in a crunching tackle, Frost sustained a serious injury to his arm which will see him out of action for six weeks, a great shame for the Frost dynasty who have been a source of fine rugby players for the youth over the past four years.

In the final 25 minutes the Penarth boys dominated play and more and more gaps started to open up which the Penarth backs exploited, seeing further tries for centre Aron Arthur, wing Rhodri Davies, who scored after some fine inter play between the loose forwards and backs, and then finally for full back Harry Williams who took the final score to 37-0 to Penarth.

Despite the score line, the Bargoed boys put in some strong runs and tested the Penarth defence on several occasions and were unlucky not to have scored through the game. A return trip to the Gwent Valley later in the season will be an interesting trip for the Penarth team who will no doubt have a tougher battle.

Next Saturday sees the Penarth youth playing their first league game away to newly promoted Canton RFC Youth with a 2.30pm kick off.