Written by Dave “Motty” Granville.
The night before the weather man said it was going to be cold. On the way there the car was warning of black ice. I never believe the weather man and laugh in the face of black ice. The action between these two top sides has always been red hot and today I wish I had been wearing my shorts…
The boys form the North are flying high, while learning their lessons as they go from match to match and the improvement is incredible. With the promise of 3 x 10 minutes and another 1 added for good behaviour the boys took to the pitch determined to carry on their good run of wins.
Match 1 First Half
The first team out today was Finn, Ieuan, Charlie, Sam, Will, Tienne, George, Lewis, Max and Rhys. Penarth won the toss and started the match. A tap and pass to but before they can run Llandaff North are up and the tackles are thick and fast with Sam making 3 tackles in a row boom, Boom, BOOM. Awesome. There was more great tackles form Sam, Will and Max and after 2 minutes, YES 2 minutes Penarth still hadn’t crossed the half way line!!! Another big tackle was too much and the ball is knocked on. North Ball on the half way line.
George passes to Max who makes good ground and passes it to Ieuan. Ieuan breaks through and runs off to the corner. He is tackled and the ref gives the ball to Penarth. I’m not sure what happened there, knock on? Whatever it was it catches Llandaff North on the hop and Penarth break through and are sprinting for the line. George is in hot pursuit and makes a great tackle to stop the try and put the boy into touch. North ball again. Charlie taps and passes to Lewis who sees the thinnest of gas and he exploits it to the full. He runs two thirds of the pitch to open the score for the north boys. Great try. 0-1
Penarth restart and make a few metres but tackles from Finn, George and Tienne wear away at Penarth and soon the ball is dropped and Lewis is on it in a flash. Advantage played and a quick pass to Tienne is all that is required for him to find his feet and make a cracking run for his first try of the day. 0-2.
Penarth restart and they are learning the Llandaff North defence and are looking stronger, but again Llandaff North force the errors and the ball is dropped. Tienne is all over it and he passes out to Lewis who passes to George nice running from all 3 leaves Finn in the open and he gets the ball and runs down the middle. Lewis has looped around and he gets the ball back. He runs through the middle and passes it to Max but the ball is knocked loose in the tackle. Penarth get the ball but the north want if back and within two tackles it is loose and they have it back. Tienne passes to Max who pops it back it to Tienne but another knock on gives the ball to Penarth. Llandaff North are playing their legs off which must be what allows Penarth to run past 5 players to score the easiest try they will ever score! Heads up North, loads of time left. 1-2.
Llandaff North restart and Max hands the ball to George who sprints past 3 Penarth players, side steps 2 others and makes a cracking dummy to Lewis to dodge the sixth and he is over for a great score. Great dummy! 1-3.
Penarth restart and more missed tackles let them scrape another point back. 2-3.
Llandaff North are back on the halfway with the restart and Tienne passes to Finn who bursts through and makes a great run and AGAIN the burst down and Llandaff North miss the tackles. Llandaff North get away with this one when the ball is dropped just before the boy has a chance to score, hard luck there Penarth. Llandaff North have it back and Tienne passes to Max who links in with Lewis and then it goes to Will. He gets it to Rhys who jinks his way forward. Great running by all the boys is paying off with yardage being gained all the time. Penarth are constantly on the back foot. Rhys passes to Charlie who releases Tienne down the touch line for the last score of the game. Great try and a great way to finish the first half 2-5 up!
Match 1 Second Half
Substitutions have now been made and the team is now Tomas, Ifan, Cameron, Josh, Finn, George, Rhys, Tienne, Sam and Tom.
Llandaff North start as they finished Tienne passes to Cameron who takes a big tackle and the ball is back with Tienne. Rhys gets it next and is off down the wing. He gets caught and the ball goes to Finn, he’s having a great day and makes another nice run making room for George to get the ball and pop over the line for the opening try of the half. 2-6.
Penarth restart but the first tackle is a George cruncher and the ball is loose and Tomas is straight there. North ball and Tomas has passed it to George. He gets it to Josh who makes gains ground and passes it to Finn. Finn gets another assist credit as he passes to Tienne who leaves the defence standing still as he somehow finds those angle no-one else can see and gets in for another try. 2-7.
Penarth are not out of this yet and they come back with a good attack but Llandaff North are up to it and some of their greatest ever defending play sees nice tackles from Tienne, Rhys, George and Tomas who gets a hat-trick of perfect tackles knocking Penarth back 10 metres! However what can only be described as a great run from one of the Penarth players gets their first score of the half. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do. Great try. 3-7.
Llandaff North restart and Finn hands the ball to George who makes yards and passes to Sam. All hail the steam-roller! No-one on the Penarth team was going to stop Sam today. He breaks through 2 tackles and drags two boys 5 metres. Despite cries form the line of ‘PASS THE BALL SAM!’ he knows he can do it and he scores a brilliant try in the far corner. Sometimes the coaches and parents don’t get it right! Sometimes… anyway 3-8.
Penarth start but Rhys and George take their legs away and the ball is knocked on after 2 tackles.
Llandaff North ball and George passes to Sam but the ball is knocked on and Penarth have it back. But not for long Tienne ensures that Llandaff North are in possession with a great tackle and the ball is loose. George gets it and runs down the middle, he gets caught but great support play from Sam makes sure the play flows and he is through the defence and over for his second try. 3-9.
Penarth restart but great tackles from Ifan, Tom and Josh stop them in their tracks and the ball is knocked on. Llandaff North are in the Penarth half with 3 minutes to go. It’s looking good but another score isn’t off the cards.
Sam passes to George and he passes back to Sam. Rhys then gates the ball and he passes the ball to Tomas. He makes a great run but the ball gets knocked loose in the tackle. Penarth get the ball but Tomas wants his ball back. Tackle number 1 and the ball is knocked on and back with the north boys. Now where were we? Oh yes, George to Sam and he takes three defenders out and passes to Finn who makes a great run and gets a well-deserved try making it 3-10 with one play to go.
Penarth have the ball but the boys from the north will not let them through great tackles from Finn, Rhys (x2), Tomas, Tom and Josh makes sure the match ends with a 3-10 victory for Llandaff North! Well done boys.
Match 2 First Half
Llandaff North put out a very strong team with Ieuan, Cameron, Josh, Will, Max, Ifan, Lewis, Charlie, Tomas and Tienne starting the second match.
Penarth restart and some great tackles from Max and Cam hold them up for a while but Penarth have made some substitutions too and fresh legs win out and they get a try. 1-0.
Llandaff North are behind for the first time today! Josh start the ball rolling and he passes to Lewis who is followed by Tienne who gets the ball with 3 defenders in the way. He managed to side step them all in one and they have no chance as he sprints in for a great score. 1-1. Okay, all good.
Penarth restart and Llandaff North don’t! Penarth are over for a gift of a try, with not just missed tackles but non-existent tackles. Boys you need to keep alert after you score… 2-1
Llandaff North are always good for an attacking move or two and they turn up the heat. Lewis passing to Max (Yes he is pulling that determined face again!) He drives through and passes to Josh, who is having a great game today. Lewis is back in the action and he passes to Charlie and Josh is back there now. Great loops and support and Llandaff North are deep in the Penarth half. Lewis gets the ball back and passes out to Tomas who dodges two to get a great and most deserved try. 2-2.
Penarth have it and some ghosts are starting to haunt Llandaff North with a series of missed tackles allowing them to get another easy try! 3-2. Sometimes it is as if they don’t want it to be too easy!
Llandaff North are back in possession and running all the way. Tienne to Cam, Cam to Ieuan, Ieuan to Charlie who is tackled in to touch. Penarth have it on the halfway and Will steps forward and makes tackle after tackle to hold them back. Tomas is there too, but a great run from Penarth gives them a try and puts 2 points clear for the first time. 4-2.
Llandaff North finally remember some training and Lewis starts with a pass to Tienne who dazzles everyone with stunning run and another try. 4-3.
Penarth come back but Tienne is like a thing possessed and a top tackle put the ball in to touch. North ball.
Llandaff North are on the attack and the passes are flowing with Josh linking with Charlie, onto Will who makes a great run down the line. He gives it back to Josh who is supported by Charlie. As they approach the line a great pass leaves Max in for a hard earned try and puts the teams on level points again. 4-4.
Well done the North. Keep your heads up.
Penarth have the ball and are kicking themselves for leaving the door open for the north lads. They drive forward to the north try line but they meet a solid wall. With play after play being driven back by Llandaff North only for Penarth to push forward to hit the wall again. Outstanding rugby from both teams. Eventually with the last play of the half Penarth are over for a well-played try. 5-4. Half time
Match 2 Second Half.
The ante is upped with 11 a side. Llandaff North put out Tom, Finn, Charlie, Sam, Rhys, George, Lewis, Ifan, Max, Cameron and Tomas.
Llandaff North have rested him, and he has built up a head of steam that needs to be released. The Steam roller gets his hands on the ball and as he runs down the pitch looks as if he wants all of the Penarth team to try to tackle him. He is up for it and no-one is going to stop him. An outstanding individual try from Sam brings Llandaff North back. What a way to open the half. 5-5.
Penarth don’t take it lying down and despite Rhys and George making a lot of good tackles they are in for a score. 6-5.
Llandaff North have been spoken to by coaches and parents alike and it shows. Cam passes to Finn who breaks out of two tackles to make 15 metres, he passes to Lewis who is supported by George and another point for Llandaff North is scored. 6-6. It doesn’t get more exciting than this.
Penarth take the ball all the way to the Llandaff North line but there is that wall again. Wow the tackles we had Cam with 2 Rhys with 3 Max with 2 Tomas with 2 and George is there too. Solid play. A penalty to Penarth is wasted as the knock it on and Llandaff North live to breath another day.
Now Llandaff North restart on their own line in the far left hand corner. All I will say is George passes to Lewis who runs the whole pitch to score in the opposite corner. Nice! 6-7.
Penarth are behind now and they are getting tired. A great tackle from Will sees him come off with a knock to the head. Great defensive play with a hat-trick of tackles form George sees the ball back with the north. I will now cut and paste the last try!! George to Lewis who runs the whole pitch to score in the opposite corner again! Wow! 6-8.
Penarth try to come back but again the north defence is too much. All the lads are tackling now and the ball is knocked on. The north are on the attack and Josh is off along the wing only to be pushed into touch. Penalty Llandaff North. Cameron to Tomas to George who is in for a great try in the corner. 6-9
For the third time George passes to Lewis who runs the whole length of the pitch to score a try in the opposite corner. What a team this is and great legs from Lewis who has had a great match today. 6-10.
Final whistle goes to end a great game of rugby.
George is the deserved winner of the man of the match trophy for a great all round match with good support, great tackles and outstanding tries.
Well done all the lads!