By Molly Ruth Ambler
Cardiff Ladies RFC took the long journey down to Southampton University on the 26th October in the hope of continuing their winning start to the BUCs season, however the team were narrowly defeated 10-12 by a strong Southampton side.
The game was fast paced, with both teams looking for the victory. Southampton had had a heavy defeat to Swansea in the week previous to meeting Cardiff, so were looking for a comeback. The Cardiff team were coming off the back of a large victory and were hoping to continue their winning form.
The Cardiff team dominated the set piece, with scrummages being particularly commanding. Southampton, however, were strong in the breakdown area with Cardiff struggling to maintain their own ball. The game was fairly even with Cardiff scoring the first try through Morfudd Ifans, with strong carries from the forwards throughout the whole game. Southampton soon levelled through a line break.
Cardiff played much of the game in Southampton’s half, with the second try coming from Anna Mawhinney. Cardiff errors led to the rest of Southampton’s try’s and conversion. Despite this loss, there were positives to take from the game. The forwards carried strongly allowing the backs to use their speed to try to penetrate the Southampton defence, which was solid throughout. Cardiff did apply plenty of pressure to the Southampton defence, however, there were few chances to break through. The Cardiff defence was thoroughly pressurised, with only two breaks, leading to scores.
While this is a disappointing result, there are clear elements of improvement to be made, again in the breakdown area. There were chances for the Cardiff side to score, but unfortunately these were not capitalised on but Cardiff did gain momentum throughout the second half, with performance improving, but they were unable to score any further tries.
Despite the loss, the squad put in their all and played until the last whistle, with each player leaving everything out on the pitch. The errors were unfortunate and there will be a chance to improve on this performance. Next week the squad take on Bournemouth at home. This will be a good chance for the squad to correct the errors that have been made against Southampton and come away with the victory.
There are lessons to be learned from this game and plenty of work to be done in training before the next game Last season, there were good results for the Cardiff team against Bournemouth, coming away with two victories, and the hope is that these victories can be replicated this season.