If anything, this game was even more satisfying than last week’s breath-taking contest against Cardiff Quins. That was two well-matched sides slugging it out until the final whistle, while this was a classic game of two halves.

The going at Pontcanna Fields was soft and greasy, but playable. Clwb Rygbi started the game with a clear plan of hard running and relentless tactical kicking and this kept the Seasiders cooped up in their own half of the field for much of the first 40 minutes.

Penarth, on the other hand, had three things going for them: the usual well-organised defence, a solid scrum and a referee with a positive attitude who got most things right. While Clwb enjoyed a glut of possession and as much field position as they could wish for, the Seasiders made sure that points were in short supply until the stroke of half-time.

A 22nd minute penalty had been converted from 40 metres, but the visitors’ defence was only breached the once. In what proved to be the last move of the match, Clwb Rygbi ran back a Penarth free-kick and their inside centre ran around the first line of defence on the 10 metre line and created enough momentum for the supporting player to pick up and score in the 22..

The second half was a very different affair. The Seasiders carried more than kicked and soon established themselves in the home 22, where a knock-on in an attacking line-out allowed them to flex their scrummaging muscles. Several collapses led to a Clwb yellow card and a Penarth penalty and Miles Jones came off the back of the inevitable scrum to score a classic number 8’s try by the posts.

Clwb Rygbi took it as a warning and came back strongly. Some neat handling saw them into the Seasiders’ 22, but a knock-on halted the move when a try seemed likely. They were to spring a complete surprise in the resulting scrum, pushing the Penarth eight off their own put-in. Kicking the penalty to touch, they executed a textbook catch-and-drive to restore their ten-point lead.

Penarth didn’t take this lightly either and struck back from the kick-off. The kick was low and towards the left touchline, where Nick Davenport took it at pace and made 30 metres into the Clwb 22. Possession swiftly recycled to Richie Bowen with entirely predictable results. 17-14.

As the game entered its final quarter, both sides toyed with the idea of taking it by the scruff of the neck, but on 65 minutes it was Penarth that came up with the decisive score. Owain Lord marked a high clearance, then ran it back. Chris Mortimer took up the running on half-way before the ball came loose and Rhys Morgan kicked ahead, beating the cover to touch down near the dead ball line.

Leading by only four points, the Seasiders badly needed another score for comfort and this duly arrived four minutes later as Bowen for once received a pass in some space on the home 10m line and shook off several attempted tackles on his way to the line for the bonus point try.

Clwb Rygbi struck back with a third try of their own with six minutes remaining, but Penarth expertly managed the run-down of the clock and there was no further score.

PENARTH Owain Lord , Ben Hill, James Thatcher, Chris Mortimer, James Crothers, James Docherty, Rhys Morgan, Sean O’Sullivan (Matt Russell), Mason Good (Iwan Baker), Alan Doyle, Owen Thomas, Nick Davenport, Alex Thau©, Miles Jones, Richie Bowen

Scorers: Richie Bowen (2 tries), Miles Jones (try), Rhys Morgan (try), James Docherty (4 conversions).