CARDIFF BLUE DRAGONS 20 – 30 ALL GOLDS
Chris Wilson at Rumney RFC
A last-minute try from Jack Uren sealed what could be a crucial two points for the All Golds in a tense and exciting encounter at Rumney RFC.
They had let an eight-point first half lead slip and trailed for much of the third quarter of the game but finished strongly to claim the win.
Injuries to Mitch Dent, Aedan Coleman and Josh Verity meant that they only had one fit interchange player, but they toughed out the final minutes in a display that did not reach the heights of last week’s win over Torfaen but still kept them on the winning trail.
The scores were close for much of the first hour but Cardiff should have been ahead as their goalkickers failed to find the mark with all of their five attempts while the All Golds failed with just one of their six kicks at goal.
The sides each scored five tries though the All Golds will be disappointed that errors and poor discipline allowed their opponents to get back into the match after they trailed 12-4 with half an hour gone.
The All Golds’ performance will give the coaching staff plenty to mull over before Wednesday’s friendly with the RAF as they failed to build on last week’s win over Torfaen but still managed to dig out a win from a game that could easily have slipped away.
The visitors started on the defensive with Coleman forced to clear his lines with good runs twice in the opening few minutes but took the lead after six minutes. Dean Cooper finished a set on the Cardiff line by driving through defenders for the score. Ash Lewis converted.
However, ten minutes later, an error from Josh Verity gave Cardiff the field position from which to strike and James Wickham went over.
With the half hour mark approaching the All Golds increased their lead. Luke Stephens and Jack Uren combined to send Brandon Lamb racing through to the posts from halfway, Verity adding the goal.
Cardiff’s response was immediate. Capitalising on an error from the restart, Duane Isles did well to touch down from close range. Five minutes before the break, the scores were level at 12-12 after Scott Walters powered over, Wickham hitting the post with the conversion.
Both sides were reduced to 12 men early in the second half with Josh Palmer and Jack Uren in the sin-bin but Cardiff went ahead for the first time in the game as Karlin Claridge sneaked down the short side to score.
The game began to get scrappy and after Stephens made a fine break, Rhys Lewis saw yellow for a professional foul, holding on to the All Golds man for too long.
Joe Uren immediately made the Blue Dragons pay when his weaving run through defenders ended with him levelling the scores.
Parity didn’t last long and Cardiff were back in front on the hour mark Claridge again scoring out wide after some neat handling had caught the All Golds defence short of numbers.
But the All Golds’ response was immediate and effective. Lamb did well to collect the restart and set Mason Robbins on an unstoppable run to the corner. Lewis’ touchline conversion went over via a post to give the All Golds a 22-20 lead.
After a series of errors from both sides, Lamb had a chance to effectively seal the game but he lost the ball trying to ground it.
Cardiff pressed for the winning score but the All Golds began to dominate field position and push the home side back.
With two minutes to go, Lewis added two more points with a penalty and from the restart, they completed their victory.
The forwards made good yards upfield before Stephens sent Jack Uren through a gap in the line and the stand-off raced away to the posts. Lewis’ conversion with the last kick of the match gave the score a flattering look but a win away from home could be crucial in what is looking to be a tight division.
BLUE DRAGONS: Jack Dryden; Brandon Aviet, Jacob Lee, Rhys Lewis, Karlin Claridge; Dafydd Green, James Wickham; Scott Walters, Duane Isles, Simon Grizman; Kyle Garnett, Joshua Palmer; Owain Harvey; INTERCHANGE: Paul Hicks, Ashley Oram, Jago Strong-Wright, Chris Coupar.
Tries: Wickham (17), Isles (30), Walters (34), Claridge (48, 60)
Goals: Wickham 0 from 3, Green 0 from 2.
ALL GOLDS: Aedan Coleman; Mason Robbins, Luke Kell, Brandon Lamb, Kieran Webb; Jack Uren, Joe Uren; Mitch Dent, Luke Stephens, Mike Addis; Ash Lewis (Capt.), Hector Silva; Dean Cooper; INTERCHANGE: Josh Verity, Paul Bolger, Campbell Hills, Kieran Harvey.
Tries: Cooper (6), Lamb (28), Joe Uren (52), Robbins (62), Jack Uren (79)
Goals: Lewis 4 from 5, Verity 1 from 1
All Golds Man of the Match: Luke Stephens
Scoring sequence: 0-6, 4-6, 4-12, 8-12, 12-12, (HT), 16-12, 16-16, 20-16, 20-22, 20-24, 20-30, (FT)
Penalty Count: 7-10
Referee: Ian Curzon
IMAGE: Jack Uren crosses for the winning try in the All Golds’ game at Cardiff (image courtesy Lewis Mitchell Photography, please credit if used)