Llanharan U16’s vs Cymru Caerdydd U16’s 2/4/17
On a beautifully sunny morning in Cardiff, Llanharan u16’s took on Cymru Caerdydd at Pontcanna Fields. Only 12 boys were available, meaning that 3 players were kindly borrowed from CC, but they were all up for a game of rugby as usual.
Straight from the kick-off a knock-on from Llanharan gave CC a scrum, disappointing as the boys had been starting games a lot better recently, often scoring first. On this occasion, however, the powerful CC centre sliced through to score under the posts. The conversion made it 7-0 to the home side.
Llanharan started to get back into the game with some driving forward play, but they lost possession and CC worked their way down into the away team’s 22. Only a lot of really committed tackling kept them out. When Llanharan did get some possession, they made the mistake of trying miracle off-loads – admirable ambition, but not what was needed when they had gone behind early on.
With CC looking dangerous every time they had the ball, it was almost inevitable that from one turnover, they made metres down the blindside and scored their second try. 12-0 to the home team.
A great backs move from the restart put Tom Whittaker away, but their momentum was stopped in its tracks by a penalty for going off their feet at a ruck. The tide was definitely turning, however, with Llanharan starting to match the home team’s physicality. They started to be awarded penalties in the home team’s half, but the forwards showed some white-line fever and didn't spread the ball wide when the backs were ready and waiting. Eventually, Llanharan remembered what their strengths were, and from a move which including lots of off-loading and great recycling of the ball, Kieran Thomas went in for their first try.
Straight from the restart, Llanharan are on the attack once more. Ioan Thomas made some good metres, and when they went blind, Chris Osbourne show good basic skills (something lacking in Welsh rugby at the moment) to draw the CC defender and put Reece Newman in for his second. With Keiron Thomas probably wishing that his conversion wasn't mentioned (a real daisy-cutter from right in front), the away team were now only 12-10 down.
Llanharan were now right in this game, with Calum Evans controlling the play from 10 in the absence of concussion victim Leon Burton. The kicking obsession evident in the last two games thankfully seemed to have disappeared, and after a penalty tap from a midfield offside, Jack Jeffreys took the ball at pace and was unstoppable. The away team took the lead for the first time and it was 15-12 to Llanharan at half-time.
Straight from the restart, Calum put in a lovely chip which was gathered by Jack once again, but he was held up over the line. From the resulting scrum, Llanharan put together a multi-phase passage of play involving some lovely off-loads, and eventually good hands put Reece over once again. The conversion made it 22-12.
Then, despite Llanharan really matching the physicality of the home side, the kicking curse returned, and the CC fullback ran back a poor relieving boot to score in the corner. A fabulous conversion made it 22-19.
After the restart went into touch, Llanharan found themselves back in their half. But after a kick ahead and a fabulous one-handed jackal from Dylan John, Elliot Jenkins took the ball at full pace and was in under the posts. 29-19 and things were looking good.
CC then came back again to score, ensuring that Llanharan couldn’t relax in any way. They didn’t and Chris Osbourne showed that forwards can also side-step to go in for his customary score. 36-24 and it was turning into a classic.
When the CC fullback made a break and put his supporting player in to score, making it 36-29, Llanharan began to look to the referee to blow up but Jack decided to make the game safe with a perfectly weighted grubber kick through the CC defence, which he gathered for the touchdown. A great game of rugby and a special mention has to go to the three Cymru Caerdydd players who contributed greatly, playing for Llanharan.
Final score Llanharan u16’s 41 Cymru Caerdydd u16’s 29