Three games, three wins and zero points conceded. It has been the dream start to the 2015/16 season for the Cardiff Cobras.
A 21-0 win over Tarannau Aberystwyth last weekend sent Cardiff to the top of the Western 1A courtesy of a brace from Dan Reeves and a rushing touchdown from Ronan Patterson.
The game was played following days of heavy rain making the pitch extremely boggy and difficult for grip. The Cobras kicked off and adapted to conditions well and soon looked an early threat. Scott Higgins’ returned a Tarannau punt for what looked to be the opening score, only to be brought back for a hold.
The penalty didn’t affect Cardiff as the confident offense, who had racked up 50 points prior to the game, took to the field. After marching down the field, Ronan Patterson punched the ball in for the opening touchdown after weaving his way through multiple Aberystwyth defenders – his fourth score in three games.
Tarannau’s offense struggled to get going and never really posed much of a threat throughout the game. Cardiff’s defense, in contrast, played with a sense of purpose and swagger and continually shut down numerous Aberystwyth attacks.
Going into the second quarter Cardiff soon doubled their lead. Chris Brinkworth threw an inch perfect long ball into the open arms of Dan Reeves who ran in for the touchdown. The Brinkworth-Reeves combination seems to be clicking well this season having connected for a score against Exeter a week previously.
The game took a lengthy break following an unfortunate injury to Aberystwyth’s Timothy Wayne. It brought an hour wait as both sets of players did their best to stay warm in chilly conditions in Mid-Wales. To applause, six Cobras helped stretcher Wayne off – showing the sheer sportsmanship of the sport and the class of Cardiff.
On the first play back from the delay, Cardiff made it 21-0. Reminiscent of Reeves’ opening touchdown, Brinkworth launched another long one into the hands of Reeves who powered into the endzone and put the game out of reach from Tarannau.
With a comfortable lead, Cardiff began to rep in rookie players and get them up to speed in a real life game situation. After a solid game at tightend against Exeter, Sean Patrick-Cook pushed the offense forward. Twisting, turning and mowing down the opposition defense, Patrick-Cook relieved the offense who probably should have converted more opportunities throughout the game.
Tarannau continued to push in search of any consolation. Rookie, Rinay Kotecha made a huge tackle as Aberystwyth’s Quarterback looked to gain a first down. The defense remained resilient and oozed class. Sacks from Ryan Davies and Will Harris as well as a fumble recovery from Shaun Rees capped off a perfect afternoon, once more for the Cobras’ defense.
A one handed grab from linebacker Jason Roberts led to the Cardiff offense taking the field again, however they couldn’t penetrate the Aberystwyth defense who changed personnel and tactics to stop it being a drubbing. With the defense on the field once more, Roberts again had the opportunity to see off the game. With the ball in mid air and a gaping path to the endzone marked as clearly as the yellow brick road, Roberts spilled the ball much to the disappointment of his teammates.
Cardiff closed the game out for a 21-0 win. The Cobras have a bye week this week as they prepare for he return fixture against the Exeter Demons on Sunday 6th December.