Durham 1st XV vs Cardiff 1st XV Match Report
Durham made the six hour bus journey down to Cardiff for their 4th game of the BUCS super league on the back of a well earnt win against Leeds Beckett a week prior. Knowing that Cardiff would be dangerous in their own back yard if given the chance to get their tails up Durham sought a fast, dominant start and that’s exactly what they got. After winning an early kick battle with Tristan Rawcliffe collecting his own high ball, Durham found themselves piling on the pressure with strong carrying just outside the opposition’s 22. Unfortunate not to come away with points when an early penalty is given away. With all play being in the hands of Durham, it wasn’t long before we were back on the outskirts of the 22, but again the ball was lost. More linebreaks came, Cai Devine, Justin Clegg and Harry Baron the sources, but handling errors and getting on the wrong side of the referee meant that this domination wasn’t converted into points. Scrum domination early on meant more possession in Cardiff’s 22, but still no points. The first points came against the run of play, with Cardiff winning a scrum against the head in Durham’s 22 and converting for a try under the posts on second phase to make it 7-0. The response from Durham was quick, earning a penalty inside the opposition half, with Tom Catterick collecting the three points, now 7-3. With a yellow card for captain Justin Clegg for a repeated offence at the maul 10 minutes before half time, Durham conceded from a lineout 5 metres out. A second scrum going against the head in our own 22 and a third try was conceded before half time. Even with a man short, Durham probed inside Cardiff’s 22, again leaving with 3 points. Another penalty, this time from a dominant Durham scrum, saw the deficit reduced to 10 points, with the half finishing 19-9. A bright start for Durham in the second half and the building pressure lead to a yellow card for the opposition prop after a huge Durham scrum. This was the opportunity for Durham to take the game as their own, but three times when within metres of the opposition line we were denied by knock-ons. Although try-less, the scoreboard did begin to turn over, with Catterick going 100% from the tee to make it 19-19. With numerous handling errors and misfortune, lacking the rub of the green when it came to refereeing decisions, Durham were only able to get over the whitewash once, with Jack Conteh piling over the line. Having to chase the game, the gap between the teams opened, ending in a 31-22 loss in a game where Durham were comfortably the stronger team.