by Ben Lovell-Smith
It was a hard fought match as Cardiff Uni fell short 17-24 at the Cardiff Arms Park to local rivals Cardiff Met. Despite the loss, this was a fantastic result for Cardiff as they claimed their first point in the league since early October.
Both sets of fans were on good form for the sell out match. As expected in any derby game, it was a fiery start, with both teams looking to attack with pace. Eventually, though, the in-form Cardiff Met side started to find their groove, with fly half Russell Bennett putting his side into good areas.
It was Met who struck first. After consolidating themselves within the Cardiff half, physical number eight Aled Ward collected the ball out wide and broke some weak tackles before stepping inside and offloading to winger Zach Clow, who finished well down the right.
The try seemed to take some of the sting out of the game and Met continued to dominate the play and would soon double their lead. From an attacking scrum, Met centre Oliver Morris made a powerful surge into the Cardiff twenty-two, leaving Cardiff exposed out wide, and a fantastic looping pass saw George Gladding score in the corner.
Soon after, Met won a penalty from a scrum in front of the posts and extended their lead.
Just as the game seemed to be running away from Cardiff, they managed to obtain a lifeline. From a driving maul off the top of a lineout they rumbled over the line to break their duck. Dunford couldn’t convert, leaving the score 5-17 at the break.
The two sides continued to get stuck into each other in the second half and from what looked like a minor scuffle, the referee awarded yellow cards to both Cardiff props. A hammer blow which left Cardiff with just 13 men.
However this seemed to galvanise the team, as they obtained good field position. Cardiff were awarded a succession of penalties before Cardiff Met were given a yellow card themselves. Soon after, Cardiff centre Charlie Dyde made a fantastic line break, before playing a switch pass to Tom Hoppe. From the next phase they worked it left and replacement prop Jesse Outlaw scored in the corner.
For a brief period it looked like it might be game on. However, the Met forwards had other ideas. Finding themselves beneath the Cardiff posts, patiently they edged closer to the line until inevitably they crossed over, putting the match out of Cardiff’s reach once again.
At the end of the match Cardiff scored a crucial try to earn a losing bonus point, with the match finishing 17-24 to Cardiff Met.