Div 4 E League Fixture
Rhiwbina kicked off the 07/08 season by hosting Risca RFC at Caedelyn Park and treating the large crowd to a entertaining and nailbiting match in which the score changed hands a number of times and the result was not certain until the 83rd minute!
Risca had finished a healthy 4th in this League last year and must have been confident of a win over the newly promoted Squirrels.
The visitors took an early 6 point lead from two penalties in our 22 but soon the Squirrels hit back with 2 superb tries. The first showed the dominance and power of the forwards at the set piece with a lineout drive of over 35 metres leading to a touchdown for flanker Dan Hobbs.
Rhiwbina kept up the pressure during this stage and began to cause the Risca 8 all kinds of problems in the scrum taking a few aginst the head and a series of drives opened the park up and slick handling from forwards and backs led to a great try for Luke 'Bealey' Brazier.
We looked comfortable at this point at 10-6 but let the visitors creep back in the game with a penaly to take it to 10-9 and then just before half time the Risca kicker put over a superb drop goal from near his own half way line to go into the interval 10-12.
The second half would prove a tight affair but Rhiwbina got an early try after a series of drives against the Risca tryline Captain James Huntley charged over carrying 3 or 4 opponents with him to get the touchdown.
Outside half Richy Saltmarsh managed to slot over a penalty following this and Rhiwbina looked to be in control at 18-12. But such was the nature of this game that the visitors hit back with a lovely try following a slick backs move ending in a touchdown for their blonde winger making it 18-17
Rhiwbina hit back with a superb try of their own with great work from the forwards to drive deep into the Risca 22 and a change of direction and slick handling saw the park open up and fullback Dave Brockway got in for the try. The conversion that followed seemed to have gone over but the ref overuled and dissallowed it! 23-17 to the Squirrels
Nerves were fraying when in the last seconds of the game Risca ran from deep in their half and despite being brought down short of the line by a some great cover tackles the support was good and they got in for a try in the corner.
The Risca kicker had to put over the conversion to win them the game and seemed to have done so but again the Ref overuled and disallowed the conversion leaving the final score 23-22 to Rhiwbina. Phew!
A great start to the new season showing that we can compete with the big guns of Division 4 East. The pack were superb today totally overpowering their opposite 8 in the scrum and the lineouts worked well. The Brian Ellend 'Man of the Match' award went to Luke 'Bealey' Brazier for his superb try and some great runs and work on the wing.
Incredibly our unbeaten League run continues intact from last season!
Thanks to the Risca RFC and supporters for a hard battle and best of luck for the rest of the season.
Big thanks to the large crowd of Rhiwbina supporters who turned out to see our opening game and to everyone who helped out with the BBQ and refreshments tent.
'Spew of the Night' went to Pricey who is now hard at work studying the rules of P's and S's for next week!
Machen away next Saturday!
Bealeys link to his match videos is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/braziator
and the the video of the Risca match is here:"http://www.youtube.com/v/1CbolGBlaCg
S Rhiwbina 3rds v St Josephs 2nds
A good win for the 3rds against a strong St Joes 2nds, well taken tries by Matt , Gareth and Dave ( I wonna be a Hobbs ) Stewart.
Keeping a open running going the Joes were made to defend for long periods of the game, but for some superb tackles and one or two dropped balls there would have been a much bigger winning margin than 22-5 final result.
A good blend of youth and older gents made for a very enjoyable afternoon, well done to all 24 players, looking forward to playing Rogerstone 2nds next week !
'Come on the Squirrels!!!'