Div 5 SE League Fixture
Rhiwbina welcomed St Albans to Caedelyn for the first time in a League fixture for many seasons. This was a massive game for both clubs and drew a huge crowd to see this encounter. The Buns were in joint 2nd place and fighting for promotion with Ferndale and Rhiwbina were unbeaten in the previous 13 League games and Top of the Table and everything was up for grabs. The Squirrels had beaten them convincingly at Tremorfa earlier in the season and wanted the double.
The opening 5-10 minutes belonged to the Buns who were exceptionally abrasive and aggressive in the breakdown and had Rhiwbina on the backfoot. But the Squirrels soon showed why they are top of this League with a series of massive drives from a lineout that produced a touchdown for Hooker Roy Pestaccio. This was converted by popular outside half Richy 'Kofi' Saltmarsh.
The Squirrels further extended their lead with a penalty following a yellow card for a Buns player who threw a Haymaker and got caught. 10-0 to the Squirrels before the Buns had 15 minutes of pressure that led to a penalty that brought them back 10-3.
Salty then answered his critics on the Buns touchline with a great try rounding off a fantastic forwards and backs move but it went unconverted as the game went into half time 15-3.
The second half was a different story as the Buns all out aggressive style faltered and the class of the Squirrels began to tell.
The Rhiwbina scrum and lineouts began to suck the life out of St Albans and the Squirrels got further tries through 'El Capitan' Gavin Harris and a outrageous score for the Phillip ENIS Man of the Match -Tony Bartlett-who swept up a ruck ball and sprinted 30 meters down the blindside to outstrip the defence and get the biggest cheer of the day! Salty bagged the conversion.
St Albans managed to get 1 further penalty during the second half.
By now the Buns were reduced to 13 or possibly 14 men after wild tackles and punches thrown due to a total lack of discipline took their toll.
Rhiwbina bagged another 2 penalties for Salty who had by this time won over his army of opposition supporters with his banter and chat.
Rhiwbina then destroyed the Buns forwards in the scrum before a unusual series of injuries allowed the Buns to select uncontested passive scrummages.
The last few minutes saw the visitors crumble as centre Mark 'Maldwyn' Lee ripped through the heart of the Buns midfield following a long period of intense Squirrel pressure to bag a try-shame about the attempted conversion Mark!!!.
The final whistle came and Rhiwbina were deserved winners 33-6.
Rhiwbina realised what a huge game this was for the club and continued their unbeaten run to 14 out of 14 League games in a fantastic season. St Albans proved why they were joint 2nd in the table with a show of all out aggression , passion and commitment but lacked the ability to cross the Squirrels tryline and were let down by indiscipline and were well beaten by a classier side on the day.
The Rhiwbina Bandwagon moves on and promotion to League Div 4 is now within touching distance.
Final Score :
Rhiwbina RFC 33-6 St Albans RFC
Next week sees Rhiwbina travel over to Old Penarthians in a top v bottom encounter.
We are also in the Semi Finals of the East District Cup again after winning 8 out of 8 of our qualification games!
Thanks to the huge numbers of loyal supporters who cheered on the Boys today and who proved too canny for the visiting crowd.
4 League games left!
'Come on the Squirrels!!!'
Rhiwbina started of strongly against a determined Howardians side with no quarter given by either team. The difference between the sides in the early exchanges were the set piece where Rhiw dominated with great performances from Eugene 'peanut' Jordan and Nick 'the destroyer' 'Diamond.
The pressure told after 15 mins with a fine try by Andy. Keeping pace on the ball Rhiw were running everything but then against the run of play the Howardians centre Ronny Jotton collected a poor pass and scored on the left.
The pressure was again put on by Rhiwbina resulting in two barnstorming tries for Pat (its my birthday next Saturday, but keep it quiet !)Howells.Two Howardian penalties left the score at 19-11 at half time.The second half saw the flood gates open with 7 further tries. The forwards and backs working well together with some spectacular scores. Rhiwbina showed great ambition, attacking from every part of the pitch.
Howardians never a team to throw in the towel scored a late penalty try. It was good to see Gareth,Virgil,Pie Guts and Jonny back in the fold.
This was a good allround performance with Nick, Andy, Pat, Gareth, Tommy, Wayne and Vince all top performers on the day, everyone else were only bloody brilliant.
Final Score Rhiw 62 Howardians 18.
Quote of the day by 'peanut' (I'm the best No 8 in the club)-"Hobbsy you've made too many changes at half time, it will never work!!" as we went on to score 7 more great tries.
And a happy Xmas was had by all.