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Triple crown for Cardiff schools and colleges

Community | 9th December 2021

What a day for rugby in the capital city region as three teams triumphed in the Welsh Schools & Colleges finals at Principality Stadium.

Cardiff & Vale College became only the fourth team to win the coveted Cup title as they came from behind to beat Llandovery College 23-17. Earlier on in the day Whitchurch HS won the Bowl, beating Coleg Llandrillo 52-29, before Ysgol Glantaf overcame Newport HS 26-210 in the Plate final.

CAVC scored at a point a minute with a blistering start. Outside half Harrison James scored at the posts after a great break up the right wing by Gabe Lacey and, after adding the extras, he kicked two penalties to make it 13-0.

Llandovery, who were also playing in their first final, recovered their poise and by the break had edged their noses in front, 14-13. A great burst up the middle by centre James Price from his 22 took play up to half-way and then he kicked to the 22.

The ball bounced up into the arms of the supporting full back Jack Davies and he reached the line for a try that outside half Rhys Harris converted. Just before the break a James pass on half-way was picked off by flanker Mackenzie Clayton and his run deep into the CAVC 22 paved the way for scrum half Iwan Hughes to cross at the posts.

Harris added the extras and Llandovery College, one of the oldest teams in Wales, had hit the front. Things got even better in the second half when Harris added a penalty, but then came the revival from CAVC.

Beaten only once in the tournament on their way to the final, they got their act together up front and converted a five metre line-out into a driving maul try for flanker Harper Chamberlain. The conversion from James gave them the lead once more and Finn Charles added another penalty make the game safe.

“It was a game played in great spirit and Llandovery offered exactly what we knew they would to the contest – everything they had!” said CAVC head coach, Martyn Fowler.

“We tried to keep the emotion out of the occasion and treat it is just another game, but we got caught out a bit after taking that early lead. Things started really well, but then we let them back in with the interception score.

“We got a bad start to the second half, and fell further behind, but then we got our act together again and finished strongly. It was a great day for CAVC and a great day for our rugby programme.

“When I first joined the staff we didn’t have a rugby programme. That was seven years ago and it took us two years to get an A licence to be able to play in this competition.

“To get to where we are now in such a short space of time is a great achievement and the players did themselves proud.”

A number of the Cardiff Rugby players currently in quarantine sent messages of support to the CAVC team, including former student Ben Thomas. George North handed out the shirts to the Llandovery College team before the game as he got involved in the big day.

Another current Welsh international, Christ Tshiunza, sent a special message to the team from his former school, Whitchurch HS, to inspire them. It obviously got their captain and scrum half, Orson James, fired up because he scored a hat-trick of tries.