AFTER last weeks outing stepping into the shoes of the Old Penarthians 1st XV who were unable to fulfil their fixture against Caerau Ely 1st XV which resulted in a tough, but rewarding, afternoon at Trelai Park, Penarth's 2nd XV were this weekend able to make their SA Brain & Co Division 1 debut at home against Llantwit Major 2nds. And what a debut it was to be!

Penarth's starting 15 was a classic mixture of youth and experience, with senior players Sean O'Sullivan, Chris Mortimer and Elliott Smith leading the way.

The difference from previous incarnations of the 2nd XV is the number of players in the squad who are pushing for first team places, Morgan Smith at outside half and Ryan Jones in the second row are proven 1st XV players whilst George Kynaston, Leon Appiah, Deklan Grotz, Liam Richards and Rhys Jones are recent graduates from the thriving Penarth Youth setup trying to make their mark and step up to the 1st XV.

Indeed was any proof needed of the route to 1st XV rugby it was clearly on show on the main pitch as Alex Shore and Rob Rees who starred for the 2nd XV last week took their places in the 1st XV squad.

So to the game, from the off it was clear that Penarth were up against a team who were used to playing together and had a structure and discipline to them, with Llantwit Major being a long established 2nd team. However what was also clear from the opening phases was that the visitors were going to struggle with the amount of pace contained in the Penarth back line.

Penarth took the game to Llantwit with a strong and organised forward effort led by Ryan Jones whose relentless carrying was a thorn in the Llantwit side all afternoon.

Elliott Smith and O'Sullivan ensured that rucks were clear which allowed Mortimer to control proceedings from the base and give Morgan Smith time to run the show from outside half.

Soon the tries started to flow and it was the young guns who did the damage, George Kynaston scored twice as did Deklan Grotz and Rhys Jones, Leon Appiah and Mortimer were the other try scorers and Morgan Smith landed 6 out of 8 from the tee.

Llantwit to their credit kept battling to the end, despite a couple of injuries - to which they later sent their thanks to Penarth's 1st XV physio, Alyn Bonnello, who attended to one which required a higher level of professional assistance than was available to them.

Penarth were bolstered by the performances of John Harley, Tom Pryce-Jones and Ian Cabral whilst a special mention must go to regular first XV supporter Dave Bennett who dusted off his, well technically someone else's, boots to make his Penarth debut in the Second Row.

The match was a huge success and the season ahead looks like it should be a good one for not only the 2nds but the club as a whole. If anyone is thinking about getting back into rugby or indeed starting up then the 2nds are there to provide that opportunity and would welcome any interested players.

The icing on the cake of what was a hugely successful day came later in the evening when the referee in charge contacted the club to thank them for the way in which the game was organised and played, in his words said, "That is the way 2nd team rugby should be done!"

Next week sees the highly anticipated trek across Lavernock Road to face local rivals the Old Penarthians.

Penarth 2nds: J Harley, L Richards, S O'Sullivan, D Bennett, Ryan Jones, Rhys Jones, I Cabral, E Smith, C Mortimer, M Smith, T Pryce Jones, G Kynaston, D Grotz, L Appiah

Scorers: G Kynaston (2t), R Jones (2t), D Grotz (2t), L Appiah (t), C Mortimer (t), M Smith (6c)