ALL GOLDS 40 – 14 CARDIFF BLUE DRAGONS
Chris Wilson at St Peter’s High School, Gloucester
Dale Cooper’s powerful break to score midway through the second half ended a potential fightback from the Blue Dragons and saw the All Golds to a well-deserved 40-14 win at St Peter’s.
The grey skies overhead were lit up by winger George Bvuma who scored two sensational long distance tries in the first half of a man of the match performance in his first appearance for the club.
The All Golds dominated much of the game and crossed for eight tries in total but wilted in the last ten minutes of the first half and during a short period just prior to Cooper’s decisive intervention to ensure the game was a contest throughout.
Looking to get back to winning ways after last week’s defeat at Torfaen, the All Golds started well, completing their first two sets and then forcing an error from which Paul Bolger almost opened the scoring.
However, after just five minutes’ play, Bvuma made his first telling impact.
Taking the ball from first receiver inside his own half, he sliced through a gap in the defence, beat the full back and raced away to the posts. Rhys Evans added the extras for the perfect start.
The sides then traded blows until another unforced error from the Blue Dragons, followed by the concession of a penalty gave the All Golds field position from which Jorge Cabral forced his way over for an unconverted score.
The All Golds were by now playing some good stuff and went straight downfield to collect their third try. Luke Stephens made the initial break and was on hand to collect Jack Uren’s delightful flick pass to score.
At 16-0 down, Cardiff had to score next to stay in touch with a rampant All Golds side and they did so. After regathering the restart, good work on the last tackle saw Corey Imperato blast his way over. Jack Dryden’s conversion hit a post but the visitors had a toehold back in the game.
They continued to press but again an error gave the All Golds a scrum in their own half and Bvuma took the first carry. Breaking a tackle, he simply had too much pace for the vainly chasing cover and cantered to the posts. Evans’ goal made it 22-4 with five minutes to go to the interval.
Before the sides swapped ends, the Blue Dragons gave notice they were not out of it quite yet as Duane Iles’ show and go gave him a gap to exploit and he did so to maximum effect scoring a fine try by the posts. Unbelievably, Dryden’s conversion attempt wobbled under the bar.
The second half started in sensational fashion. James Royle picked up a Cardiff error from the kick-off and ran at the heart of the defence. The All Golds pounded the line and, following a repeat set of tackles, worked an overlap for Marcus Brown to find Royle unmarked and he literally flew in at the corner for a well-deserved score.
However, the All Golds’ play began to get sloppy and they gave away a string of penalties to give Cardiff breathing space and they produced a well-worked try from Kane Harris, converted by Dryden, to bring the score back to 26-14.
After both sides’ errors saw the forwards packing down several times in quick succession, Cooper gave the match its decisive turn.
An innocuous fourth tackle carry suddenly turned into a try-scoring run as he brushed off tackler after tackler in a 45-metre run to the line.
Cooper did it again on the All Golds’ next possession, powering through in identical fashion to set up the position for Evans to go over and with the stand off adding the extras, the game was done and dusted.
The last quarter saw the visitors’ desperate search for a consolation score come to nothing and the All Golds extended their lead through Alasdair Anderson. The second row profited from a scramble following Stephens’ kick to the corner to touch down in the corner with the last play of an entertaining game.
Cardiff have a fortnight to lick their wounds before they return to St Peter’s for the third meeting of the sides this season while the All Golds focus on a big clash with Swindon St George in Wiltshire next Saturday.
ALL GOLDS: Jack Uren; Tom Gaffney, Aedan Coleman, Jorge Cabral, George Bvuma; Rhys Evans, Joe Uren; Mike Addis, Luke Stephens (Capt), Paul Bolger; Alasdair Anderson, Kaine Dimech; Dale Cooper; INTERCHANGE: Sean Roberts, James Royle, Marcus Brown, Hector Silva.
Tries: Bvuma (5, 33), Cabral (18), Stephens (21), Royle (41), Cooper (61), Evans (64), Anderson (79)
Goals: Evans 4 from 8
CARDIFF: Oscar Wong; Sam Houlston, Jack Dryden, Max Roberts, Corey Morgan; Jamie Iles, Duane Iles; Corey Imperato, Kane Harris, Josh Palmer; Cameron Carter, Aron Carter; Owain Harvey; INTERCHANGE: Mike Williams, Dave Harris, Dave Newman, Rhys Jones.
Tries: Imperato (25), D Iles (37), K Harris (52)
Goals: Dryden 1 from 3
All Golds Man of the Match: George Bvuma
Scoring sequence: 6-0, 10-0, 16-0, 16-4, 22-4, 22-8, (HT), 26-8, 26-14, 30-14, 36-14, 40-14, (FT)
Penalty Count: 6-7
Referee: Stuart Orton
IMAGE: James Royle flies in to score for the All Golds (Courtesy Lewis Mitchell Photography)