WRU Championship: Cardiff Met 29-21 Narberth

Narberth went down to defeat in the capital on Saturday afternoon as a spirited second-half performance wasn’t enough following a first half flurry from hosts Cardiff Met, writes Joshua Smith.

A physical opening saw the University outfit take control on the 15 mark. A penalty at the breakdown saw impressive Met fly-half Henry Johnston open the scoring.

The hosts then cranked up the pressure with two tries in quick succession. Sloppy play from the restart saw Narberth under immediate pressure leading to a lineout in their own 22. Prop forwards Luke Yendle and Dan Kennett broke from the resulting set-play with the latter going over the line. Johnston converted.

It went from bad to worse two minutes later as more pressure on the restart led to Met possession and student winger Corey Whane evaded multiple tackles before off-loading for scrum-half Bevan to cross the over. Johnston converted and at 17-0, The Otters had a mountain to climb.

Narberth struggled to get a static attack moving and were dealt another blow as winger Will Lewis was forced off through injury before being joined on the treatment table by No 8 Rich Rees.

Met looked to have all but wrapped up the game in the closing stages of the first half when they added a third try - as a turnover on half-way allowed centre Chris Lewis to charge to the line. Johnston added the extras.

At half time the game looked done and dusted but a spirted second-half display saw The Otters claw their way back into it.

The visitors appeared to be running into a brick wall after being camped on the opposition line for the first 20 minutes of the second half before eventually finding an overlap for centre Kieron Jones to score.

Narberth’s scrum had been their best asset all game and it paid dividends ten minutes later as good work from the forwards created an overlap for Yannic Parker to score. Outside half Jonathan Rogers was in good form from the boot - converting both tries.

Any chance of a come-back was put to bed late on however as against the run of play, powerful Archer’s centre Barrie Karea picked up a loose ball and showed some neat foot-work to beat his man before diving over the line.

Jake Jenkins did add a consolation try on 80 minutes for Narberth but it was too little too late as they went down 29–21 in Cardiff.

Narberth: Nick Gale, Will Lewis, Kieron Jones, Jack Price, Yannic Parker, Jonathan Rogers, Rhys Lane, Bradley Davies, Rhodri Owens, Tom Slater, Tom Kaijaks, Alex Jenkins (capt), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Rich Rees. Replacements: Kyle Hamer, Dan Jacobs, Harry Phillips, Lewys Gibby, Gethin Gibby.