The Swansea Titans were chasing a fourth consecutive Welsh Varsity victory against its old rivals and neighbours the Cardiff Cobras. The Titans went into the game strong favourites after finishing the season as one of the top four teams in the country. The Cobras on the other hand were fully expected to lose with them failing to make the Division one playoffs this season.
The Titans started bright, the offence got rolling with a few good runs by Todun Soetan and some big third down catches from rookies Sam Ngombe and Alex Wilson to keep the chains moving, finishing the drive with a nice 15 yard reception touchdown by club president Luke Wheadon to put the first score of the game up.
The defence continued the fast Titans start with a great push from the defensive linemen Mac Howard and Filip Stepanovski as well as tackles from Harry Calton and of course Gethyn Chadwick forcing the early Cobras punt. The game looked like it was going to turn into a one sided affair very quickly.
The offence once again on the field looked like they would continue to move the ball until a lofted pass by QB Elliot Bodman resulted in a Cobras interception and with that the momentum shifted. Back came the Defence with safety Peter Doyle sporting his Varsity TuTu. The Cobras made their first completion of the game and gained the first down. Some good coverage by Harry Calton and then a tackle by Gethyn on fourth down to prevent the Cobras QB making the first saw the ball put back into the Titans hands.
Another good run by Todun after linemen Ed Welch and Hussain Kahn helped open a huge whole in the Cobras line, kept the Titans marching. A bomb pass from Bodman to Dan Marshall for 30 yards and another great grab by Wilson put the Titans into scoring position. The Titans moved the scoreboard to 12-0 with his first rushing touchdown for QB Elliot Bodman. The 2 point conversion dropped by Marshall. Good running from the cobras put them in field goal range but safety Ethan Goddard somehow broke through the Cobras line and tackled the holder to prevent the kick.
12-0 at the half.
The Cobras started the second half the brightest with some more good running, The Titans defence was still strong with tackles from Alex Taylor and then a fumble recovered by Gethyn Chadwick was almost run home for the score. A few misplaced passes and a sack forced the Titans offence to a quick four and out. Thus began an impressive Cobras drive from their own 5 yard line where after a few complete passes and strong runs a screen pass was taken to the house by the Cobras running back. A poor snap and a tackle by Ben Cooper kept the score 12-6. Another sack on Elliot led to another punt by the Titans offence. The Cobras once again march the ball up the field and took the lead for the first at Varsity in three years.
The Cobras lead was short lived as the kick off was instantly returned for a touchdown by Gethyn Chadwick. and the two point was scored by Dan Marshall putting the score 20-13. Gethyn thought he has another touchdown when he intercepted a wayward pass and ran it home only for a flag to pull the play back for offside. Three plays later however he did get his interception to put the Titans offence on the field. The Titans now after entering the fourth quarter kicked it into gear. A beautiful push by the line allowed inside zone specialist Luke Patmore to eat up the yards and then for a potentially a final time Bodman linked up with Marshall to put another score on the board. 2 point scored by Marshall. Titans 28-13.
The Titans special team then audaciously attempted an onside kick and somehow recovered it. More inspired work by the linemen especially Oliver Vacy-ash and Ed Welch getting good push to allow a huge run by Patmore. Unfortunately the drive was snuffed dead and the Cobras had another shot at scoring. Great tackles by Todun Soetan and good coverage by Peter Doyle and Achiga Binyiri killed another Cobras drive.
With little time on the clock the Titans rotated in a new batch of players, a huge block by Mike Waddington allowing Elliot to run free. Another great pass by Bodman this time to Tom Astley almost made the first down but on fourth and one Patmore following the gap made by Vacy-Ash grabbed the needed yards. Waddington breaking free of coverage was left wide open in the endzone for an easy 6 points. After an inspiring inter-team game at running back lineman Ike Amuze was allowed a shot at the 2 points. He of course glided into the endzone to put the final points of the afternoon up. Titans 36-13.
Another year another Varsity win, that is 6 wins in 8 attempts now. The Varsity Trophy will stay in Swansea another year.
And that's a wrap for the 2018/19 season, what a year its been. On to the next batch of Titans to continue the legacy.