By Peter Weston

THE 2021-22 WRU Bowl competition kicked off as Penarth RFC travelled across Lavernock Road to meet Old Penarthians in the first game of the round-robin phase.

A lengthy pre-season had suggested that the Seasiders had a lot going for them and so it proved.

They started strongly, dominating territory and possession against an Old Pens who were well-organised and tenacious in defence.

Rhys Beynon nevertheless opened the scoring with a clean break inside the 22 to go under the posts.

The Penarth set piece was dominant and this caused Old Pens problems in lineout and scrum.

The visitors continued to build pressure into the second quarter and that eventually told as the hosts infringed one too many times and got a yellow card.

From the lineout Tom Griffiths went over from a rolling maul.

Shortly after a loose kick from the Old Pens was fielded by James Docherty and spun wide to Will Hardy who drew the last man and put Rhys Morgan over in the corner for a half-time score of 19-0.

The second half stated with a well-organised Old Pens throwing everything at the Seasiders, with former Penarth players Chris Poole, James Beaton, Louis Chandler and Joe Page to the fore. Penarth slowly got on top and wore them down and a few chances went begging.

With 25 minutes to go Jerome Bryan was yellow carded for a high tackle and that along with the impact of the players off the bench (in particular Harry Wood) saw the floodgates open as Will Hardy crossed out wide.

The Old Pens got a consolation try shortly afterwards but that was as good as it got for them.

More Penarth tries soon followed, firstly for the outstanding second row pair of Alex Shore and Nathan Frost and later for George Roberts, who crossed twice in the last five minutes.

The first after an outrageous offload from a tackle by Beynon and the second from a clean break from Alex Thau, who carried a huge amount of ball throughout.

There were excellent performances from all players but man of the match Nathan Frost, Alex Shore, Alex Thau, Rhys Beynon, Spencer Robinson and Joe Williams (playing at centre) were real highlights.

The scrum was dominant throughout, as was the lineout, but the games to come against Pentyrch, Pontyclun and Llanharan will provide much sterner tests.

The game was of a really high quality with lots of open play and great handling and at times the Seasiders were bordering on the irresistible.

The five-team Bowl group means a bye for Penarth next week, before an away tie against Pentyrch a week later.

Penarth: Rhys Morgan (capt), George Roberts, Joe Williams, Rhys Beynon, Will Hardy, James Docherty (Andy Richards), Spencer Robinson (Ellis Shewring), Geraint Williams (Harry Wood), Tom Griffiths, Alan Doyle (Ryan Jones), Nathan Frost (Cam Sultana), Alex Shore, Alex Thau, Miles Jones, Hugh Leach.

WRU Bowl Round-Robin, Saturday, August 21, Pentyrch v Penarth, Parc Y Dwrlyn Fields, Penuel Road, Pentyrch, Cardiff, CF15 9QJ, kick-off 2.30pm.