New boys open league campaign with defeat
12:01pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Sport
CAERAU ELY 25pts
SULLY SPORTS 16
NEWLY-promoted Sully Sports Rugby Club travelled to Caerau Ely for their first league game in the WRU Division 5 (south east) on Saturday and it was clear from kick-off that both teams were determined to start their season with a win.
The big tackles went in from the referee’s first whistle and the first 10 minutes saw Sports get the upper hand and force Caerau to defend in and around their own 22. Both sides demonstrated forceful hitting and effective clearing out at every breakdown as possession was fiercely contested at a pace which kept supporters glued.
Sports' scrum was awesome and they took complete control of the set piece, regularly pushing Caerau off their own ball and securing several gains against the head. Sports seemed to be doing everything right until their first handling error presented Caerau with their first real chance to attack. And they did not waste the opportunity, feeding their backs who quickly turned defence into attack to open the scoring.
Sports restarted well and immediately put Caerau under pressure which resulted in a turnover. John Dimond put in a telling chip to place Caerau’s full back under so much pressure that he had no option but to hold onto the ball illegally and concede a penalty which was duly converted. Sports' efforts, however, were wasted when, just minutes later, they conceded a penalty to give three points back.
Hope was restored just after the restart when another deft chip from Dimond was quickly followed up by Sports' backs who forced the turnover. Quick hands put Jake Williams free to score a try which was converted.
Again Sully’s efforts were to no avail as a handling error presented Caerau with possession and their backs reacted quickly and were rewarded with a try which went unconverted to leave the half time score at 15-13.
The game continued in much the same way in the second half with crunching tackles in a fast and physical game. Unfortunately, for Sports, their handling of the ball deteriorated even further and, as a result, the ball rarely advanced further than the centres. Nathan Taylor, Sully’s speedy winger, received quality ball only once throughout the game and he was lucky not to be charged a spectator's entry fee. However, he showed exactly what he is capable of when Caerau’s winger broke away and, with no full back and Sully’s line beckoning, the try seemed the only conclusion to the cheers of Caerau’s supporters. They were silenced when Taylor slammed their ball carrier to ground with a tackle so fierce it created ripples on Ely reservoir; it was a try-saving tackle worthy of mention.
With the visiting forwards dominating throughout, it was disappointing that Sully conceded a further converted try and a penalty to end up losing. Sully’s handling clearly let them down on the day and, where they more than matched the opposition in fitness, strength and determination, they lost out to Caerau’s speed to react and superior ball handling. Perhaps Caerau gave Sports a taste of what to expect for the rest of the season.