Date: Wednesday, 10th October 2018
Venue: USW Sport Park
by Richard Early
UNIVERSITY of South Wales 2nd took a dramatic draw at home to Cardiff University 6th, despite a dominant first-half and last play penalty in front of the posts, on the opening day of the BUCS League Western 4B.
The match began even as both sides remained resilient in defence and a breakthrough looked unlikely. However, University of South Wales opened the game, after 18 minutes.
The hosts were awarded a penalty before tapping, going and swiftly spreading the ball across the line to fullback Sam Davies, who finished in the right corner. Callum Digby’s conversion from an awkward angle was unsuccessful.
Cardiff University’s discipline cost them greatly, as they conceded another try from another tap penalty, six minutes later. Inside centre Liam Vokes went, dummied and scored in the left corner, before Digby kicked a successful conversion from a tight angle.
The visitors looked for a way back into the game and denied USW any try-scoring opportunities, until the 37th-minute mark. A 22-metre lineout led to scrum-half Liam Herdman darting through the defence before offloading to prop Rory Lynn, who sped over from close-range. Digby’s conversion was unsuccessful, although the hosts took a comfortable 17-0 lead into the break.
After the interval, Cardiff University refused to accept defeat and came back roaring. Seven minutes in, fullback Michael Maloney produced a super solo run, before offloading to second-row Sam Maloney, who eventually dived underneath the posts. Brandon Louis-Allen kicked a successful conversion and that set the tone for the second period.
USW made it difficult for the visitors to increase their lead and had attacking opportunities themselves. However, Cardiff Uni scored another try, after 61 minutes, through Ollie May. The winger gathered the ball in his own half and sprinted past multiple opposition players to touch down in the corner. Louis-Allen’s conversion was unsuccessful on this occasion, making the hosts’ lead slightly more comfortable.
The visitors continued to probe for a third try, which would at least level the scoring and they got it with four minutes of the 80 remaining.
Cardiff University had an overload on the right and the ball was spread to May, who stood in acres of space and sped in to secure a brace. Louis-Allen’s conversion was unsuccessful for a second time and the score line stood level to set-up a tense finale.
Both sides threw everything at each other in the remaining minutes and USW were awarded a penalty in last play, in front of the posts and at close-range. Digby stepped up to take the kick and struck the right post, before the final whistle was blown.
A dominant first-half from USW, followed by Cardiff University’s second-half comeback pieced together an incredible encounter in the BUCS League Western 4B opening day.
Final score: University of South Wales 2nd 17-17 Cardiff University 6th
University of South Wales 2nd: Degenhardt, Scoot, Lynn, Taylor, Pari, F. Davies, Evans, Goldthorpe, Herdman, Digby, Thomas, Vokes, Shaddick, Walsh, S. Davies. Subs used: Berry, Paterson, Salsbury, Nicosia, Wood, Stobbs, Scanlan, Dawes.