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Cardiff U18 maintain 100 per cent record with gritty win over Dragons

Pathway | 12th January 2023

Cardiff U18 secured a gritty win over defending champions Dragons RFC on Wednesday evening to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Regional Age Grade Championship.

Both sides were eager to play expansive rugby but were up against the swirling winds and torrential rain in Ystrad Mynach.

A Scott Delnevo score gave the young Blue and Blacks side a slender lead at the break, but no further points were scored from either side as the weather conditions worsened throughout the second half.

The win takes Chadd Mutyambizi’s side to three from three in this season’s Championship, as they now prepare for back-to-back home games at the Arms Park.

Kick off at Ystrad Mynach was delayed by 30 minutes after the hosts’ prop Morgan Williams was stretchered off during the warm-up.

But when play finally commenced, it was the Dragons who applied pressure from the off. With Cardiff struggling to find an exit route, as the strong gusts of wind limited the distance on clearance kicks, the hosts took full advantage to open the scoring.

It was a stolen line-put that presented Jack Condy’s side with the opening, as sharp hands across the backline found skipper Tye Davies, who crossed over in the corner. Jack Woods’ conversion attempt pulled narrowly wide of the left hand posts.

Kodie Stone’s counter attacking runs from full back had provided a rare spark of life to the 15 minutes, and the visitors would’ve been disappointed to see the Coleg  product depart with a dislocated finger.

However, it was Stone’s back three partner, Tom Bowen, who produced a moment of magic to bring Cardiff back into the contest.

The Clifton pupil was equally threatening with ball in hand, and his burst down the right hand side,  beating a number of Dragons defender, paved the way for replacement full back, Scott Delnevo, to dot down.

Harri Wilde slotted a tricky conversion from out wide to give the young Blue and Blacks side a 7-5 lead at the break.

The second half mostly became a battle for territory in middle third, but both sides saw opportunities squandered due to handling errors.

Cardiff held out for a gritty win over the defending champions, and now prepare to welcome Ospreys to the Arms Park next week, with entry included in 22/23 Season Memberships.

Cardiff U18: Kodie Stone; Tom Bowen, Elijah Evans, Steffan Emanuel, Tom Weekley; Harri Wilde, Josh Pearce; Cameron Tyler-Growcot, Gavin Parry, Harrison Rock, Dylan McDonald, Gethin Howells, Jaden Wilkins, Harry Beddall (capt.), Lucas de la Rua

Replacements: Evan Wood, Max Bignell, Owain James, Luke Evans, Don Kipola, Owain Paskell, Tom Hughes, Scott Delnevo

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 v Ospreys - Cardiff Arms Park

Sunday, January 29 - Cardiff v RGC - 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