by Ben Lovell-Smith
Cardiff University Men’s Rugby pulled off a strong bonus-point win at Llanrumney in their first home match of the 2019/20 BUCS Super Rugby season against Northumbria.
Cardiff were keen to build on last week’s away victory against the champions Hartpury, with a win over Northumbria, who Cardiff claimed their maiden BUCS Super Rugby win against last season, with a 29-10 home victory.
An expectant army of Cardiff blue shirts and chinos, four packs at hand, arrived in force. They were joined by a man from Gibraltar, supporting his old mate from home, Northumbria tighthead Jamie Ross.
The crowd watched on as the game at Fortress Llanrumney got off to a nervy start. Northumbria dominated the ball early on, and threatened from an early chip through, startling the Cardiff back three. Cardiff failed to get to grips with such tactics in the early stages as Northumbria inside centre, Zac Thompson, scored down the right after a line breaking run from his winger.
It was clear from early on that Cardiff had the upperhand in the tight, dominating the scrum and lineout. It would be this weapon that they would use to write their reply, as hooker, and Club President, Ben Edwards dived over from a driving maul.
Finally, after a nervous quarter, the Cardiff backs began to gain a stronghold. Some subtle handling from fly-half Ed Dunford gave Cardiff field position and allowed the impressive Charlie Dyde to break the line at first receiver from an attacking scrum. After just a few phases, Ellis Thomas crossed the line from short range.
It would be this deadly duo once more, that would push Cardiff into a healthy lead. Cardiff continued to dominate possession with some slick broken field play from Dunford and great hands and change of speed from Dyde, allowing Josh Oakley to dart over.
Northumbria were down but not out, and replied rapidly, pinning Cardiff deep in their half. After several pick and goes, Northumbria fly half Robbie Forbes made the most of quick ball to dive over on the left. A missed conversion left Cardiff 19-10 up, going into the break.
The second half was a scrappy affair. Northumbria and Cardiff took to the second half with even greater intensity but no significant blows were landed from either side.
This was until Luke Shore received the ball from a deep Northumbria kick and returned with interest, breaking three tackles to send George Thomas in for a try in the corner. A fantastic night for the Cardiff backs was epitomised by an outstanding conversion by Dunford from the touchline.
As the second half wore on, the game was slowed by injuries and substitutions and the two sides cancelled each other out. Cardiff finished the game 29-10 winners in another entertaining win in BUCS Super Rugby.
With two wins from two, Cardiff have started the BUCS Super Rugby season as they finished last season. It’s an exciting time for rugby at Cardiff University, and another home game against Leeds Beckett on Wednesday will be a chance to continue an impressive start to the campaign.