Opening day victories for Sully Sports RFC 1sts and 2nds
7:40am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Sport
THE hard pre-season training under Head Coach Grantley Harries paid dividends on the opening day of the season, with victories for both Sully Sports RFC 1sts and 2nds - a feat not achieved for many years.
The pre-season warm-up games were used to put into practice the lessons and moves learnt on the training ground, and to try out new combinations of players, with several additions and changes to last season’s group of players.
On August 10 the Sports made their annual appearance in the Southmead 10s Tournament in Bristol, this time entering two sides. Both achieved notable victories and reached the semi-final stages – one in the Main Competition and the 2nds in the Plate. Overall it was a long, hot , muscle straining day, but enjoyable and very good for teamwork and bonding.
The following Saturday the Sports entertained local rivals Dinas Powys, a division higher in the WRU, who in last year's corresponding pre-season friendly give the Sports a 50+ point hiding - but not so this year as the Sports played with style and unusually discipline, to run out 24-17 winners.
The final warm-up saw the Sports entertain Fairwater, three disions higher in the league and played some of their best rugby for years, only to lose 31-17, a score that flattered the visitors.
Saturday, September 1
Cardiff Saracens 21 Sully Sports 22
NEWLY promoted to the WRU 6th Division, Sully Sports shocked the Sarracens by not being overawed by a side who have several WRU season of experience, and by taking the game to the home side from the first whistle until the last, and were a little unlucky not to win by a more comfortable margin.
Three debutants made their mark in this opening competitive fixture, with Jake Williams (Centre), Sam Bowditch (Hooker) and Peter Brown (Lock) - Jake and Sam having first joined the Club as Under 8s a decade ago.
Playing into the strong wind, it was the Sports who drew first blood, when a fine period of play between forwards and backs swept them up field and winger Dave Stillman went in at the corner flag for a try superbly converted by outside-half Chris Cummins.
Although the Sarries were not able to gain a territorial advantage using the wind, they did use the strength of the wind to slot over three long range penalties to take the lead. Buoyed by this, they applied some pressure in the Sports 22, forcing a turnover and pounced for a corner try, well converted.
The final 10 minutes of the half, the Sports regrouped and should have reduced the deficit when a break looked certain to lead to a try, but an excellent last ditch tackle killed the movement.
After the break, Cummins cut the deficit to three points, kicking two penalties, one from well in to his own half, but a lapse of concentration saw a poor clearance kick returned by the home side for an unconverted try.
Stung by this “against the run of play” score, and facing an 8 point deficit, the Sports upped their game, backs and forwards driving and interlinking to dominate the final quarter. With only a minute to go all this pressure had only resulted in two more Cummins penalties.
A final burst of powerful forward play cracked the home discipline and Cummins slotted his fifth penalty.
The kick-off was caught by veteran Jason Evans, who was immense amongst an outstanding pack, and he coolly kicked the ball into touch to bring to an end a pulsating match.
Sully Sports 2nds 32 Llanishen 3rds 12
DESPITE fielding a side with three debutants (N Coulthard, L Fazloodin, N Taylor) and several players out of position, this was a most encouraging opening to the season for the Sports 2nds.
Up front they dominated, either pushing the visitors off their own scrum ball, or driving them back making them play on the retreat. It was from a second against the head scrum, in the 6th minute, that winger Scott Williams was fed to open up the scoring with a try in the corner.
Even with the wind against them the Sports dominated possession and territory, and the visitors relied on their quick elusive half-backs for most of their breaks and ground gains. From one of these breaks, Llanishen got a foothold on the home 22, and worked the ball from a ruck near the touchline right across the pitch with good support play for a deserved try in the opposite corner.
The Sports responded by taking back control, and on the half-hour pressure on a Llanishen scrum, in their own 22, led to a poor kick, centre Ian Moore gathered and barged through three tackles on his 30 metre run to the line.
Five minutes later, from mid-field strong running and good support play by Scott Mills, John Moyle and Ishmail Yasin set up a drive by the forwards deep into the visitor’s 22, and out popped prop Anthony Penberthy to barge over from 5m for try converted by Mills.
5 minutes into the second half, Llanishen were “done” up front, took off an prop, and with no front row substitutes available, made a successful request for passive scrums. Within a minute of this they knocked-on and the ball was swept up by Scott Williams, who raced 60m for his second try.
The resultant kick-off was caught by winger Ian Patterson who, not to be outdone by his fellow winger, sped 60m himself for a solo try.
Just over 10 minutes into the second period and the game was clinched when No 8 Scott Mills picked up from a scrum in his own half, and he drove through tackle after tackle for amazing try.
The Sports then seemed to lose their concentration a bit, making unforced errors, and Llanishen came more into the game using quick tap penalties and the passive scrum, often in lieu of penalty kicks, to launch attacks. Most were comfortably dealt with by, up to this point, an underworked Sports defence.
But Llanishen were rewarded with a fine converted try, as a bout of good interpassing set up a jinking run for a score by the fly-half.
The last quarter of the game suffered from poor play by both teams, as the strong wind, substitutions and tiredness played their part in upsetting the game’s previous rhythym.
1. Training 6:30pm every Monday and Wednesday at Sully Sports. Numbers so far have been good, but Coach G Harries would welcome anyone interested – experienced or not.
2. The Club are seeking to strengthen their Coaching Team, particularly in the Forwards area. Anyone interested should contact the Club.
3. The Club is also looking to increase numbers in the Mini/Junior Section and parents/players can attend training on Sundays at 10am for information.
4. Forthcoming Fixtures: this Saturday (September 8) the 1st XV have no League fixture, but the 2nds entertain Rhiwbina 3rds at Sully KO 2.30pm, in what could be a fascinating game, following the Sports last minute win against Rhiwbina in the Ron Lucock Cup Final in May.