Cardiff 43-8 Swansea – Six try feast for Men in Red

Jack Haines prepares to throw a lineout. Photograph by Ines Teixeira Dias.

By James Lloyd

Cardiff men’s rugby first team hit Swansea University for six as they thumped their South Wales rivals 43-8 at Llanrumney last Wednesday.

It was the final time the two teams will meet until April 5 when they face off at the Principality Stadium for Welsh Varsity.

And Cardiff ensured Swansea travelled back West along the M4 with plenty to ponder after this convincing rout which left Alun Wyn Davies in a bullish mood.

The Head of Rugby reckons the White & Greens have had “their wings clipped” following the six-try feast which has put his side into third place of the BUCS South A Division, behind Bristol and Hartpury.

Davies said: “I think it is a confidence booster. Every time we have played Swansea in the past two seasons, I think they have been on top.

“Last season we lost away and won narrowly at home, and lost the Varsity game, so I think they have had their wings clipped a little bit today which is positive for the club and positive for the university and it was something we wanted to focus on.

“Considering the build-up we had to the game, I am pretty pleased with it. We haven’t played for a while, so today was really positive and I am really happy for the guys.

“It was a combination of things; I think we were quite nervous as we haven’t played for a long period of time.

“Swansea have done well in recent weeks. But it was nice to see what we have been working on translate onto the pitch. It was great to see the players enjoying themselves and expressing themselves.”

James Davies was amongst those players who enjoyed a bit of freedom. The outside-half played an instrumental role pulling the strings for a number of Cardiff attacks.

Despite a cagey opening, it was the hosts who took the lead through a bruising effort from flanker Aron Hughes. Davies added the conversion and knocked over a penalty minutes later as Cardiff took a hold of the game.

Hooker Jack Haines blocked down a Swansea kick and fed Owen Williams who ran in with ease to extend the advantage.

With plenty at stake, tempers flared as Tom Bell and Swansea’s Tom Hayward departed to the bin following a scuffle. On the stroke of half-time Davies had a go from halfway with an outrageous penalty attempt, which fell short.

Rory Garrett booted a penalty for the visitors leaving Cardiff with a chip on their shoulder and a sense of anger. Harry Griffiths, though, relinquished that and waltzed his way through weak Swansea defending for try number three before Bell bagged the bonus-point at the posts.

Garrett offered brief resistance for Swansea with a try. But captain Jack McGrath crashed over at a maul and Rhydian Jenkins made it six beneath the bar late on – with Davies cracking the cork with the extras to seal the victory.

Player Ratings:

15: Julian Mogg – 7 out of 10 – Did his job at full-back, tackled well and gained some yards for the hosts.

14: Owen Williams 7 – Scored a try from wing after Haines’ set up, solid display from the youngster.

13: Rhodri Walls – 7 – Contributed to a slick Cardiff back line who made numerous line breaks and always threatened.

12: Harry Griffiths – 9 – Superb game from the hard-hitting, bulldozing, beanpole centre. Scored a try in the second-half.

11: Harri Lang – 7 – His speed always stretched Swansea and made him a threat.

10: James Davies – 8 – Enjoyed playing the conductor role and was pretty impressive with the ball in hand. Kicked well throughout.

9: Louie Silver – 7 – Cardiff’s backs benefitted from Silver’s quick-ball from scrums and rucks, decent game for the half-back.

1: Nick Ibister – 7 – Always involved in the action and did plenty of work as a ball carrier.

2: Jack Haines – 8 – Covered every blade of grass, threw well at the lineout and teed up Williams’ try.

3: Aron Willimas – 7 – Cardiff’s scrum offered a solid base throughout with the front row at the forefront.

4: Jack McGrath – 8 – Fine game for the captain who defended well and was on hand to score a try.

5: Tom Bell -7 – Departed to the bin, but that aside played well and got on the scoresheet.

6: Luke Waller – 7 – Cardiff were superb at the breakdown and organised in defence, as Waller exemplified.

7: Aron Hughes – 8 – Excellent at the breakdown and started the move for Cardiff’s third try with a big hand off and neat pass.

8: Chris Williams – 8 – Good at the lineout and reliable in defence. Complete game from the Chairman.

Replacements: S Starks, R Jenkins, A Rees, O Hitchings, B Egan, D Brooks, C Graney, O Evans.