The Cardiff Cobras stormed to a fifth successive victory of 2015/16 by thumping Aberystwyth Tarannau 42-0 to reclaim the Welsh Bowl.
Touchdowns from Rhys Romo, Billy Rowlands, Ronan Patterson, Scott Higgins, Sean Cook and Dan Reeves secured the Cobras the win as they climb above rivals Swansea to the top of the table.
Cardiff kicked off the game in wet and windy conditions giving the Aberystwyth offence, who were yet to score a point all season, the ball on the first drive.
After making the first down early on, Tarannau soon went three-and-out and were forced to punt. Chris Brinkworth and the rest of the Cobras offence soon got the ball rolling and made solid yards through Ronan Patterson and the mobile Brinkworth, and soon after the Cobras made the breakthrough. Dan Reeves stormed into the endzone with ease following a perfect pass from Brinkworth.
On the following kick-off, Aberystwyth almost caused shockwaves after the returner was stopped yards short of the endzone by resurgent rookie, Rinay Kotecha.
Aberystwyth struggled to settle into the early exchanges and soon lost the ball after rookie Ivan Lesnianski recovered the football following a fumble. On the next Cobras drive, Dan Stewart had a fifty-yard touchdown chalked off due to a flag on the play involving Sean Cook.
Into the second quarter and with Brinkworth and Cook combining well, the latter soon made amends for his earlier flag. Cook secured the Cobras’ second touchdown after another Brinkworth bullet.
The Cardiff defence was in inspired form, with big hits going in all round, notably from defensive MVP Shaun Rees and Ed Woolcott. The defence soon recovered the football once more following Jabez Spooner’s diving grab.
Liam Sharma and Stewart marched the offense down the field once more after impressive grabs. With the Cobras knocking on the door yet again, Brinkworth was on another surging run. However, the quarterback was downed and remained on the floor with suspected head and neck injuries and was consequently stretchered off. In stepped rookie Charlie Woolcott, who on the first play, offloaded to Ronan Patterson who punched the ball in for the score.
Tarannau continued to struggle against the resolute defence, who were hungry to defend the zero. President Toby Lock recovered a fumble to give the offense another chance to score.
Soon after, Rhys Romo ran the ball in comfortably for the fourth score giving Cardiff the opportunity to introduce some rookies.
Billy Rowlands waltzed through the Aberystwyth defence to put Cardiff within distance of their fifth score. With Rowlands carving through the lines, the second-year running back soon ran it in following a dazzling run to the corner – leaving the Cobras one point short of the ‘mercy rule’ and a halftime lead of 34-0.
More strong work from the defence including big tackles from Harry Kirkham, Ryan Davies and Woolcott heaped the pressure on the visitors. Jason Roberts blocked a punt, his fifth of the year, giving the offence the ball once again. Cardiff came out the blocks slowly as the lacklustre third quarter finished 0-0, despite a superb interception from Marcus Isaac.
With Brinkworth and Reeves combining well in the first half, the fourth quarter brought the Woolcott and Higgins partnership to life. The rookie quarterback found Higgins to bring up the first down and minutes later the pair combined for Woolcott’s first passing touchdown after a dazzling Higgins grab.
Cardiff closed the game out comfortably, moving on to a record of 5-0 in this 2015/16 campaign, with the play-offs well and truly in sight.