Jump to main content

Ebbw show their steel at Arms Park

Evan Lloyd

Evan Lloyd kicked 10 points for Ebbw Vale

Three first-half driving line-out tries brought a smile to the face of Ebbw Vale head coach Jason Strange, but he admitted his side was still very much ‘work in progress’ after they had taken significant revenge over Cardiff at the Arms Park.

Share this page:

The Steelmen headed home with a full bag of points after scoring five tries in a stunning 36-20 victory to make it back-to-back bonus-point wins after seeing off Pontypridd at home the previous weekend.

“We had taken some hidings at the Arms Park in some previous games – 58-8, 78-12 and 75-17 – and we were determined that wouldn’t happen again. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was a good win for us in the end,” said Strange.

“We worked really hard over the summer and our conditioning is certainly helping us. We used our driving line-out to good effect in the first half, but we can also play a bit behind as our last try showed.

“Last year we changed 20 players int he squad, and that was year one in the rebuilding programme. We are moving in the right direction, but we are still a work in progress team.”

It took Ebbw nine minutes to open their account with the first of those three tries from unstoppable driving line-outs. They also used the same weapon to pave the way for a fourth try in added time to ensure they had a bonus-point in the bag by half-time. 

Given Strange completely changed his squad in the summer of 2022, he did incredibly well to take the Steelmen to the fringe of the play-offs last season. An opening day defeat at Merthyr came after conceding the first 21 points of the match without reply, but they did pick up a point from a 24-17 defeat in the end. 

But this fine win, backing up the win over Ponty, will hammer out a clear message to every team in the Indigo Premiership that Ebbw are definitely on course to gate-crash the play-off party this season. 

And it wasn’t just the power of their pack that caught Cardiff cold. When they expressed themselves behind, they had pace, purpose and no little panache. For the home side, champions in 2022 and runners-up last season, it was a sign of the times. 

With so few players to pick from while the regional side prepares for the start of the URC season, and with little or no money to spend, Steve Law is down to bare bones.  

Morris picked up two of the push-over tries in the first half and there was a penalty try in between. Ryan Jenkins then had the simplest of tasks to fall over the line after another driving line-out had travelled 15 metres up to the line. 

Harrison James replied with two penalties and he also converted a driving line-out score from his own pack, who propelled hooker Alun Rees over the whitewash. The gap was 15 points going into the second half, but Cardiff quickly bridged it. 

Within three minutes of the re-start, and with both teams down to 14 men after yellow cards for home outside half James and Ebbw scrum half Jonathan Evans after a bout of shoving and pushing, Dewi Cross created the space for Kodie Stone to spring 20 metres to the left corner. 

Jacob Lloyd added the extras and suddenly there was only eight points difference. It didn’t stay that way for long, though. 

Evan Lloyd kicked a monster penalty from 45 metres, surprisingly missed from inside the 22 three minutes later and then made the break for Harry Rees-Weldon to score try number five in the right corner. 

Things got even worse for Cardiff at the death when flanker Nathan Hudd picked up his second yellow card of the game and left his side playing one short in the final eight minutes. 

Scorers: Cardiff: Tries: A Rees, K Stone; Cons: H James, J Lloyd; Pens: H James 2. Ebbw Vale: Tries: I Morris 2, R Jenkins, H Rees-Weldon, Pen Try; Cons: E Lloyd 3; Pen: E Lloyd 

Partners and Suppliers

Principal Partners
Official Broadcast Partners
BBC Cymru/Wales
Official Partners