By Rosie Foley
Cardiff’s first ever BUCS Super Rugby game was against reigning champions Hartpury. With Cardiff being the underdogs in the league, it was an open playing field as to whether they would be able to make that step up.
The result doesn’t show it, with Hartpury winning 14-31, but how Cardiff played proved that they are wanting to compete and challenge, as Head of Rugby Alun-Wyn Davies told Gair Rhydd earlier this month.
It was perfect playing conditions at Llanrumney and from kick off you could tell that it was going to be a physical game, with both sides were carrying hard and tackling forcefully.
However, discipline from both Hartpury and Cardiff was lacking as constant penalties were being awarded to the opposing sides. The visitors gained there first points of the game from a penalty kick by centre Nick Carpenter.
Cardiff responded immediately, and initially got held up on the try line but finished it off with their first try of the match by winger Adam Sadbri. Hywel Phillips kicked the conversion which lead to Cardiff leading 7-3. The first half ended with a concession of penalties for both side’s, and the home side finishing the first half in the lead and looked strong.
During half time there was a Cardiff substitution as scrum half Owen Davies came off with an injury and was replaced by 23 George Finney. The second half began with Cardiff’s defence being tested but they stayed strong.
Four minutes in, Hartpury were help up on the try line, after some game play Cardiff were awarded a long-awaited penalty, but the ball was lost, with Hartpury winger Robbie Smith making a break leading to a try from the alternate wing Aquile Smith.
A series of poor scrums lead to a penalty try to Hartpury, and the score was added to with a third try of the match by Number 8 Harry Wilson, converted by Chamberlain, giving the visitors a 7-24 lead around the 65 minute mark.
With Cardiff needing new legs to keep up their pressure, prop Jesse Outlaw and wing Adam Sadbri were taken off and replaced by Seb Herold and Alex Varney.
The remaining few minutes looked promising for Cardiff as they pressed in Hartpury’s 22. This led to a try by full-back Owen Williams, narrowing the visitor’s lead to ten points.
Any hope Cardiff held in the last couple of minutes was however as Hartpury finished the game with a final try by replacement Dwayne Burrows.
Cardiff may have lost their Super Rugby debut, but they will take plenty of positives from they first game against tough opposition.
They move forward to their second BUCs Super Rugby game next week against Cardiff Met at the Arms Park, following on from the Blues Cup tournament where CURFC’s Freshers team and CULRFC will be playing.
To come along and watch both the Blues Cup and the 1st XV play Cardiff Met you can get tickets from the SU website.