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Cardiff U18 45 RGC U18 24

Pathway | 29th January 2023

Cardiff U18 returned to winning ways as an impressive attacking display led to maximum points against RGC on Sunday.

Chadd Mutyambizi’s side went into the clash on the back of a defeat to Ospreys last week, knowing a victory would be vital in their title ambitions.

The Blue and Blacks dominated the first half at the capital, securing the bonus point before the break thanks to tries from Evan Wood, Owen Conquer, Steffan Emanuel and Tom Hughes.

RGC had their moments throughout the 70 minutes at Cardiff Arms Park but never truly threatened the hosts’ lead. Scott Delnevo added a fifth for the capital club before Hughes and Emanuel secured a brace each, as the backline produced some electric moments.

Cardiff were dealt a blow ahead of kick off as Ethan Rudyj was ruled out with injury. He was replaced in the centre by Kyan Lewis, with Tom Weekley brought onto the bench.

RGC had the ascendancy in the opening exchanges, and were rewarded for their endeavour with the first points of the game as full back Caio Parry slotted an early penalty.

However, the lead proved to be short-lived as hosts bounced back immediately. A penalty gave the Blue and Blacks field position, and a powerful driving line-out set a platform for hooker Wood to crash over.

Hughes’ conversion was pulled wide, but Cardiff were hungry for more and soon added their second try of the afternoon. Number eight Conquer - one of 11 changes made to the starting line-up - picked a devastating line to cut clean through the RGC defence and finish under the sticks.

A series of close range carries saw RGC pulling the scores back to 12-10 but any hopes of seeing the momentum swing in their favour were dashed when Steffan Emanuel broke from deep, using a combination of pace and power to cross for a spectacular solo effort.

The Cardiff backline continued to cause problems for their visitors, with Kodie Stone’s devastating footwork almost leading to the bonus point score. The Coleg y Cymoedd pupil showed his electric ability with ball in hand to skip past a number of defenders, but was ultimately held up over the line.

The pressure eventually told, however, as Cardiff secured the bonus point on the verge of half time. Full back Scott Delnevo was this time the instigator, as his break paved the way for Hughes to add a fourth for Cardiff.

With the Blue and Blacks racking up a 26-10 lead at the break, the next score would be crucial and despite a cagey affair when play restarted, a moment of magic from replacement Lloyd Lucas sparked the game back into life.

The outside half sold a perfect dummy before using his pace to get behind the RGC defensive line. With the final man approaching, Lucas still had plenty to do but calmly sent Delnevo on his way for Cardiff’s fifth of the afternoon.

A quickfire brace from RGC replacement Jac Petch-Jones might’ve momentarily raised the visitors’ hopes of a comeback, but they were quickly thwarted as Emanuel turned creator to send Hughes over for his second of the afternoon.

With the clock into the red and RGC going all out in the hope of coming away with a bonus point, the sharp wits of Emanuel spotted the opportunity to intercept in midfield, and the Milfield pupil had the pace to run in from his own half and cap off a convincing victory for Cardiff.

Mutyambizi’s side face a short turn around ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Llanelli, where they will face Scarlets (KO 7.15pm).

Cardiff U18: Scott Delnevo; Harrison Nixon, Kyan Lewis, Steffan Emanuel, Kodie Stone; Tom Hughes, Owain Paskell; Max Bignell, Evan Wood, Harrison Rock, Don Kipola, Gethin Howells, Jade Wilkins, Harry Beddall (capt.), Owen Conquer

Replacements: Charlie Manship, Cameron Tyler-Grocott, Owain James, Evan Rees, Tom Calcaterra, Sion Davies, Lloyd Lucas, Tom Weekley

Cardiff Under-18 Men Fixtures*

Sunday, December 11 - RGC 7 v Cardiff 17 - Stadiwm CSM

Monday, December 19 - Cardiff 21 v Scarlets 12 - Cardiff Arms Park

Wednesday, January 11 - Dragons RFC 5 v Cardiff 7 - Ystrad Mynach

Wednesday, January 18 - Cardiff  27 v Ospreys 33 - Cardiff Arms Park

Sunday, January 29 - Cardiff 45 v RGC 24 - Cardiff Arms Park

Wednesday, February 1 - Scarlets v Cardiff

Wednesday, February 15 - Cardiff v Dragons - Cardiff Arms Park

Wednesday, February 22 - Ospreys v Cardiff

*Subject to late changes