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Cardiff 42 v 8 Old Albanians
18 August 2018 - Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Old Albanians

Match Report

Cardiff 42 - Old Albanian 8

Cardiff started the new season with a six try triumph against Old Albanians at the Arms Park.

The Blue & Blacks got on the scoreboard as early as the second minute. From the kick-off Cardiff regained the ball and made several attempts to break the visitor’s defence. But it held firm until Gareth Thompson found a gap. Once through he fed Luke Crocker who cleverly drew the remaining defence before passing a perfect ball to Amir Jiwa Walji who had the wheels to finish past the last defender. Thompson converted.

The visitors though were posing a lot of questions when they had the ball and deserved got on the board when Ewan Sterling landed a straight forward penalty shot. But the Blue & Blacks went straight back on the attack and when a penalty was shunted into the corner the resulting catch and drive saw Crocker crash over at the back of the pack, Thompson was again on target with the extras for a half time 14-3 lead.

As with all pre-season games there were a raft of changes at half time and that seemed to break up the flow in the game. Both sides were willing to attack but with rusty hands the results weren’t always what had been planned. The St Albans side closed the gap with the first try of the second half when Charlie Watson went through from a few metres out, but the Cardiff pack was starting to take control. The scrum in particular was dominating – a good sign for the upcoming league campaign. And when they earned another scrum penalty the Blue & Blacks went for the touchline. After several pick and drives at the line there seemed to be a break in play as everyone stopped. Everyone that was except for Morgan Allen who played the whistle and carried on to score. That was followed by a lot of pressure on the visitor’s line and from a knock-on scrum Ross Pritchard went around the back of the dominant scrum to score.

The game was now beginning to break up a bit and with fresh legs on Cardiff were able to score twice more. Both came from Will Rees-Hole. The first set up by the whole team as forwards and backs combined to send the centre over. The second was again set up by the pack. This time several drives led them to within five metres and as the ball went wide Rees-Hole was able to go over from short range. Thompson, as he had all afternoon, added the extras for a winning start to the new season.