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Sunday, December 10, 2023
Hodgkins & Wanders Fall to Cardiff Met

On one of the windiest days of the year, a gale-force wind blowing across the pitch made conditions tough for both sides, but Cardiff Met was able to handle the conditions much better defeating Jamin Hodgkin and his Wanderers teams 36 Ė 17.

The all-weather surface at least added itself to some decent running rugby and you can always rely on the students to provide a game with plenty of pace. The early play came from the Met and with some slick handling, they manufactured a Try out wide after good phases from both forwards and backs 5-0.

The Wanderers started to warm to the task with Gruff Tough, once again having a late switch in position prior to kickoff, always threatening with the ball in hand. The visitors showed some early dominance in the scrum and from one scrum a penalty allowed Tough to reduce the arrears to 5-3. Back came the students and they extended their lead with a second try and a splendid conversion against the wind made it 12-3. The conditions worsened with kicking out of hand a lottery at times.

Both sides were willing, despite the conditions, to move the ball wide and the Met looked dangerous with both wings showing pace when allowed. The half entered its final quarter with little between the sides and the Wanderers struck back. Nathan Williams carried powerfully into the heart of the home side defense and the Wanderers went through several phases with powerful carries from the pack and Harry Arundel popped up to make the final run, crashing over for the visitor's first try. Tough converted 12-10.

With the half nearly at an end, it seemed that the Wanderers had got themselves into the game but once again as the half came to a close they let the game slip. Conceding two late tries they went into the break losing 24-10 still in touch but making their task far more difficult.

Conditions continued to dictate proceedings for both sides and with handling not easy scoring chances were at a premium. The students extended their lead with their fifth try probably putting the game to bed and the visitors were forced to throw a little caution to the wind.

Showing that there is potential in the attack they tried everything they could with Williams and Tough prominent carrying the ball. Chances arose but execution in the red zone eluded them be it by loose handling, over enthusiastic offloading, in the conditions, or just good defense from the home side.

Eventually it came together and Finn Davies, putting in another impressive performance crossed for the Wanderers second try 29-17. With their spirits up the visitors gained momentum and for the first time the Met defense looked a little rattled. Any thoughts of the revival were then snuffed out when, as the visitors attacked deep, a loose ball was gathered by the Met wing who jinked out of the grasps of the attackers and raced 90 meters to finally put the game to bed at 36-17.

A deserved win for the in-form team of the league leaving the Wanderers still searching for that next win.
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