Bragging rights will be up for grabs at the Arms Park tonight (October 3) when Cardiff Met and Cardiff Univeristy go head-to-head in the BUCS Super Rugby tournament.
Cardiff University couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to their first season in the top flight of student rugby. They kicked-off their Super Rugby career with a home clash with reigning champions Hartpury last week, going down 31-14, and meet last season’s runners-up in round two.
The derby match will be the final act of a day-long rugby festival at the Arms Park. The battle for the Blues Uni Cup will see four of the region’s university sides play each other ahead of the BUCS Super Rugby match at 7.30pm,
Cardiff University, Cardiff Met and the University of South Wales will field men’s and women’s teams, with the addition of Cardiff Medics in the men competition. Gates open at 11.00am, with the first kick off at 11.30am.
“There is a bit of pressure on us as favourites and nobody wants to be saddled with the title of the second best university rugby team in Cardiff. We want to build on what we achieved last season and will be looking to get off to a good start,” said Cardiff Met director of rugby, Danny Milton.
“We’ve got 10 of last season’s starting XV from the final back this season and there are a couple of freshers who have made the grade. Zach Clow has come to us via the Welsh Exiles programme and starts on the wing.
“We’ve had five games in the Welsh National Championship to date and last week sent out our freshers side and were delighted to beat Tata Steel. But there will be a bit of extra edge at the Arms Park against a Cardiff University side that did very well last season to qualify for Super Rugby.
“They have a good pack and had a great first-half against Hartpury in round one. They were leading 7-3 at half-time and it was a really good performance.”
Cardiff Met are captained by No 8 Aled Ward this season and he and many of his team mates are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the former Wales U20 lock Alex Dombrandt, who left in the summer to take up a professional contract at Harlequins.
Milton masterminds a rugby programme that sees the university turn out nine or 10 sides per week involving 250 players. In addition, there are a further 20-25 players per week playing for local clubs.
Cardiff University qualified for the final of the WRU Bowl last season only to be denied a trip to the Principality Stadium following a complaint from the side they beat in the semis, Pembroke RFC, over the eligibility of some of their players.
They have since decided to end their association with the competition, while Cardiff Met have entered their 2nd XV for the first time.
Cardiff Met: T Benjamin; C Lewis, L Northmore, J Wright, Z Clow; J Johnston, M Marsh; S Cochrane, C Lewis, H Seward, J Arthur, E Balocco, D Thurston, W Gibson, A Ward (captain)
Reps: J Samuel, W Hurd, D Kennett, W Rubasniak, H Scott, L Essenhigh, R Bennett, W Morris
Cardiff University: O Williams; G Thomas, R Wall, C Dyde, A Sadbri; G Finney, J Oakley; C Davies, C Lewis, J Outlaw, C Stonehill, J O’Leary, T Wilson (captain), G Ramage, A Everett
Reps: B Edwards, A Davies, D Fellows, G Ansell, A Hughes, M Ramage, A Varney, C Johnson