Brynley Toms and his Cardiff Rugby teammates took a step closer to securing a top-four finish in the Indigo Premiership as they recorded a bonus point win against Aberavon 32 – 15.
Having been led onto the pitch by Dan Fish – playing his 100th game for Cardiff Rugby – were looking to make a fast start to the game. But it was the visitors who had the upper hand in the early exchanges. A penalty by Aled Thomas was followed by a try by Steph Andrews. And it could there could have been a greater margin between the sides had the home side’s defense not been up for the challenge. Several catches and drives at the line were repelled as the Wizards had most of the opening twenty minutes.
It took Cardiff until ten minutes before halftime to get on the board. Cardiff had been moving the ball at pace until Aberavon was drawn offside. The resulting penalty was sent into the corner and when the lineout was stooped illegally Fish used the advantage to fire a Crossfield kick into the hand of Dewi Cross who dotted down in the corner. And Cross should have had a second a few minutes later. A fifty-twenty-two from Fish was taken quickly to the winger who went over only to be called back for an infringement.
That momentum though was carried forward in the second half as Fish leveled the scores as Cardiff piled on the pressure. And that pressure resulted in try number two. A defensive lineout near Aberavon’s line was pinched and several drives at the line got Cardiff within a meter of the line. When the visitors ran out of defenders James Richards was able to drive over, and Fish converted.
Cardiff was still being challenged by Aberavon's attack, but the defense was strong and resisted several attempts to get back into the game by the visitors. And they turned defense into an attack which led to Fish landing a neat drop goal to send Cardiff two scores clear.
Aberavon was now trying everything to get back into the game and when a penalty missed touch Cameron Winnett found Fish who sent the ball back into the Aberavon twenty-two for an attacking lineout that produced the third try.
The lineout was secured and Morgan Allen came charging onto the ball 20 meters out. There was only going to be one result once he burst through the first tackle, the No8 crashing over Fish converted.
The fourth try summed up Cardiff’s defense and attack in one passage of play. Aberavon had worked their way into the Cardiff twenty-two, but as the ruck formed Nathan Hudd was over the ball to rip it away, Ethan Lloyd found Fish who spotted space wideout and placed a perfect cross-field kick to Winnett.
The fullback flashed into the Aberavon half before delivering the perfect pass to James Beal. The winger just had the fullback to beat which he did with a lovely sidestep to go under the posts. Fish converted and claimed the man of the match award, but Aberavon did get the last word as Casey Williams scored and converted his own try but the Cardiff had their win and the bonus point.