Cardiff RFC 34-20 Carmarthen

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Cardiff RFC overcame Carmarthen at the Arms Park on Saturday night to win the first four league games of the season for the first time in the semi-professional era.

Steve Law had made three changes to his starting XV, bringing James Botham in at blindside, Dan Fish at fly-half, and Edd Howley at full-back as he returned from injury for his first outing since Pontypridd in round once.

Despite being the favourites going into the game it was a nightmare start for Cardiff who conceded a try within the first three minutes.

James Beal missed a tackle on the right wing and Morgan Griffiths got clear before finding scrum-half Aron Hemmings on his inside shoulder to run in the try. Jack Wilson added the extras.

Coupled with that try being conceded was seeing James Botham going off injured within the first five minutes, however that actually worked out in Cardiff’s favour as his replacement scored two tries in the next 10 minutes.

First Alex Everett was over after diving over from close range following a well-worked multi-phase attack that took the Blue and Blacks from halfway up to the try line, before a hugely powerful run came after a driving maul had been dragged down short.

Ben Thomas converted each try and it seemed Cardiff would kick on, however, they started engaging in a kicking battle against the visitors which they gradually lost, conceding territory and possession for much of the last 15 minutes of the game.

Alex Everett Carmarthen RFC
Alex Everett grabs a second

There were flashes of attack, when Evan Yardley and that man Everett made breaks, but neither could be converted into tries, and only Carmarthen were on the scoreboard for the result of the half.

Two Jack Wilson penalties shrunk the lead to just 14-13 by the break, with Cardiff defending well but making too many errors to deserve more of a half-time advantage.

It seemed like little would change immediately after the break, as the home side were turned over on the floor once again, but slowly the Blue and Blacks got into the game thanks to some big maul defence from Morgan Allen and James Thomas.

Eventually a penalty allowed us to attack from inside the Carmarthen half and Dan Fish’s chip kick sat up perfectly for Ben Thomas to go under the posts and convert his own try.

There were chances for the game to be made safe, the best being through Ethan Lewis as he spun off the back off a driving maul, but he lost possession just as he reached for the try line.

Cardiff wouldn’t be prevented a bonus point though and after a huge defensive scrum won possession back some battering carries saw James Thomas finally get over for the fourth home try of the game, Gareth Thompson converting.

James Thomas Carmarthen RFC
James Thomas crashes over

With the try bonus in the bag Steve Law opted to empty what was left of the replacements bench, somewhat taking the rhythm out of the home side, and it showed as Carmarthen threatened to get back into the contest.

A penalty conceded by Cardiff in midfield allowed the Quins to kick to the corner, and a strong driving maul saw them over the line through Torin Myhill, brother of Cardiff Blues hooker Kirby, converted by Wilson.

However, two penalties from the boot of Gareth Thompson ensured that the Blue and Blacks could not be caught as they returned to the top of the league, two points ahead of Aberavon and 10 points ahead of Merthyr as the Ironmen lost once again.

By now means the complete performance from Cardiff RFC, who still haven’t really get into their stride this season, but to not be performing quite at our best and still sitting top, staying unbeaten and picking up bonus points is very pleasing indeed.

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