IN AN AFTERNOON of University Challenge matches, held to help raise money for Wales Students to go to the World Cup in Australia in 2017, east beat west in two excellent games of Rugby League at The Wern in Merthyr Tydfil, with the winners having to come back from being behind in both games.
In the first match, University of South Wales, who are primarily based in Treforest, overcame Aberystwyth University 40-10.
Aberystwyth took the lead on eight minutes. After good play from Oli Marton and Tom Rose, Brandon Goldsworthy crossed and Rose converted.
A great solo effort from Jarad Hinnem looked to have given USW the opportunity to level things up, but his move was in the end fruitless as he had received a forward pass.
Eventually, they did cross as David Odemu twisted his way over. Liam Hook missed the kick, leaving Aber with a slender two point lead.
On the stroke of half time, Hinnem finally got his try, with Hook adding the extras to make it 10-6 to USW.
10 minutes after the break, USW extended their lead after Osian Evans scored a fine hooker’s try, with George James quickly following him over. Hook converted both.
Quick fire play from Cai Fitter put Reuben Hoare over in the corner for USW’s next try. Hook kicked well to extend the lead to 28-6.
Nick Boudier touched down for a consolation five minutes from the end but the final say went to USW as Hinnem scored two more tries to complete his hat-trick, the first under the sticks, the next just to the left, with Hook again adding the goals.
Then came the big city derby between Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University and it initially looked like that the Premier League side would eclipse their lower league rivals but, in the end, the students from the capital ran out 24-16 winners.
Swansea took an early lead after Daf Phillips scored a try under the sticks and Jack Richards added the extras.
They extended their advantage 25 minutes in when David Riley dived over from close range. The conversion was missed on this occasion.
Straight away, Cardiff got a try back when Harry Boots scored under the sticks and James Watkins converted.
Then, five minutes before the interval, they levelled the scores when Dafydd Green did well to catch a high bomb and ground. The try went unconverted, making it 10- 10 at the break.
Just two minutes into the second half, Cardiff took the lead for the first time in the game after Alex Perry’s acrobatics gave him a try in the corner. Green kicked perfectly from the touchline before adding a penalty to put the score up to 18-10.
A Gethin Thomas try in the corner, followed by another excellent Green conversion, took Cardiff’s lead up to 24-10.
Swansea looked for a comeback after Alex Griffiths scored a try back that Richards converted. However, only some fine defending on the Cardiff line prevented Swansea from getting the score to within two points and the Met lads held on for a well-worked win.