By Peter Weston

IF the second 10s pre-season warm-up presented the Seasiders with a more physical challenge which they overcame in some style, last Saturday’s visit to Riverside Park, home of Div 1 East Central Rumney, posed a different question altogether.

The hosts weren’t inclined to give the visitors an easy ride in torrid conditions and as Penarth slipped behind by two tries and 12-0 by the end of the first two periods it was all looking a little bleak.

The key problem here was that Rumney were well versed in the light (and dark) arts of the breakdown and this robbed the Seasiders of any useful continuity.

The first session was no picnic for the visitors, as they also struggled with unforced errors and poor communication.

The second was much better, as they conceded a second try, but almost struck back as time ran out with a massive individual break from Harry Wood.

As we went into the third session in the steaming heat, it soon became plain that the coaches had an answer to Penarth’s woes and over the next ten minutes they turned things around completely to lead 12-19.

As Tom Luck hurried on to a ruck with his scrum-half trapped, the centre broke left and spun the ball wide for Rhys Beynon to score in the corner 12-5.

More pressure and continuity by the visitors found its reward as Josh Hurley scored by the posts 12-12.

An Andy Richards break soon afterwards looked promising, but that breakdown issue raised its head again, only for the visitors to quickly regain possession and apply the pressure for Alex Thau to score the third try.

The fourth session was a relative stroll and while Rumney pulled back two late tries to make the score respectable, the Seasiders had already sealed the result with two more of their own.

The first soon arrived as centre Josh Powell set off from his own 22, skinning the first tackler and then beating all the rest for sheer pace and a wonderful individual try 12-24.

Continuing the pre-season tradition of sharing out the tries, lock Ben Heywood notched up the fifth, but not before Harry had created the opportunity with another massive line-break and a pass off the floor 12-31.

No cricket score this time, but Penarth had showed immense character in dealing with the problems posed by a team from one of the higher divisions.

Quite how this will translate into form in fifteen-a-side remains unclear, but the club has run through most permutations of a sizeable squad over this series of three games with everyone in good shape and raring to go.

The WRU Bowl competition for Season 2021-22 begins on Saturday 7th August as a round-robin, with Old Penarthians the first opponents at Cwrt-y-Vil.

Penarth squad: Rob Rees, Andy Lang, Ben Heywood, Sam Davies, Nathan Frost, Tom Griffiths, Alan Doyle, Harry Wood, Geraint Williams, Lloyd Ellis, Alex Thau, Owen Lloyd, Richie Bowen. Jim Crothers, Josh Hurley, Tom Luck, Rhys Beynon, Andy Richards, Rhys Morgan (capt), Josh Powell, Ben Jones.