|15th September 2018||2:30 PM||WRU National League 1 - East Central||2018-19||80'|
A dry sunny day, perfect for running rugby, saw the Villagers travel across the capital to Riverside Park, home of Rumney RFC. The Dinas team that took to the field had four players making their debuts and seven changes from the previous week. Although still early in the season, the physical nature of the division had deprived the side of several key players.
The youthful home side started the game brimming with confidence — their high tempo and pace earning them an early penalty and three points. Almost from the restart, the blue and blacks scored a well-worked try through their outside half Regan Mahoney. The Villagers appeared momentarily shell-shocked but immediately struck back with a try of their own. Flanker Corey Imperato peeled away from the back of a lineout to crash over. Ben White’s conversion attempt was good and after a frantic five minutes, the home side led by 8-7.
Dinas’ were making life tough for themselves and gave away another unforced penalty which they kicked to add a further three points. A poor clearance kick by Dinas allowed Rumney centre Tom Maton to gather the ball and, with strong running, he evaded several Dinas defenders. His offload, together with some great interlinking between teammates, led to Rumney’s left-wing Callum MacDonald crossing for a try in the corner.
The pace was frenetic and after only a quarter of an hour, the home side led the Villagers by 16-7. After such a high scoring start to the contest, both sides rediscovered the art of tackling and there weren’t any further scores before half-time.
Dinas started the second half brightly and after five minutes produced a sweet passing move of their own. Right wing Jim Wiltshire ventured into midfield and gathered a pass (after several heartstopping fumbles) before embarking on a dazzling, sweeping run before ending between Rumney’s posts. The conversion all but a formality, the home side led by 16-14.
Momentum appeared to be with the visitors, who pounded at the Rumney try line. However, the home defence stood firm and was rewarded with an element of good fortune. Rumney’s second-row Tom Rogers intercepted an overally ambitious floating pass and ran in from fifty yards to score against the run of play and make it 21-14.
Dinas were stung into action. A promising phase of play ended with Rhys Evans across whitewash only to be held up by some determined last-ditch tackling from the home team. Desperate to get the all important points on the board, the Villagers declined kicks at goal, preferring to kick to the corner and secure the lineout. Invariably, the throw was not precise enough and the home side was able to hang on. Eventually, with frustration mounting, White added a further penalty and the found themselves within a score, trailing by just four points; 21-17.
The hopes and belief that a comeback victory was possible were quashed when, once again, almost straight from the restart, another pass was intercepted. Rumney’s fly-half Mahoney sprinted clear from close range to score a fourth bonus-point try for the home side to which they added the conversion and secured a 28-17 victory.
This was an uncharacteristically lacklustre, insipid display by Dinas and vast improvements are required in all areas if they are to overturn the highflying Mountain Ash at home on the Common.