By Ben Lovell-Smith
Round five of BUCS Super Rugby saw Cardiff face Loughborough in an intense match at Llanrumney. Last time the sides met was in February when Cardiff pulled off a 26-24 scalp away in Leicestershire, but the Welsh side lost 17-32 in BUCS Super Rugby.
The match kicked off and immediately it was Loughborough dominating possession, staunch defence from Cardiff kept the scoreboard level. Eventually the pressure told as Cardiff gave away a succession of penalties at the breakdown. Chris Davies converted to make it 6-0.
Cardiff remained unable to string any phases together, forcing them to stand up to the task in defence. Loughborough’s big ball carriers Suvwe Obano at number eight and Freddie Steward at outside centre made the difference as Steward broke the gainline to offload to Nathan Langdon who scored.
Some tough words under the posts seemed to do the trick as Cardiff earned a penalty from kick off. Opting to kick for touch, the lineout provided a perfect platform to establish a driving maul. Loughborough infringed, giving the advantage to Cardiff, and the opportunity for game-breaking fly half Ed Dunford to dink in behind. Clinical finisher George Thomas was there to finish beneath the posts for Cardiff’s opening try.
Cardiff made an obvious switch to a kicking game and it paid dividends. Dunford continuously poked in behind and Thomas made use of the grubber kick to gain territory down the left as the home side gained some control.
But their momentum was halted by injury and Loughborough inevitably got hold of the ball upfield. Cardiff’s indiscipline cost them dear. And, despite some heroic defence, the Loughborough forwards crossed the line under the posts – making it 7-20 at half time.
As ever, Cardiff would not be put down, swiftly gaining possession within the Loughborough 22. After the hard work had been done by the forwards, Dunford’s class shone through as he executed an inspired cross-field kick for winger George Mears to score.
However, any hope of a Cardiff fight back was quickly quashed. Steward sithed through the centre, leaving defenders in his wake and forced a penalty right beneath the Cardiff posts. A bold decision to tap and go from captain Alex Glashan caught Cardiff out, having not retreated onside a penalty try was awarded. To rub salt in the wounds, Greg Ramage was sin binned for the offence and the game seemed to have escaped Cardiff’s grasp.
The final nail in the coffin was a good try from the Loughborough full back Fergus Guiry, putting them 20 points ahead.
Despite a late consolation try for Thomas, it was to be another disappointing night for Cardiff, losing in the end, 17-32.