The Cardiff Lawyers’ XV travelled to Paris to play the 17th annual fixture against their Parisian counterparts, Rugby Club du Palais de Justice de Paris. The Cardiff Lawyers team comprised a good mix of youth and ‘old heads’. It was encouraging to see an injection of youth into what was an aging squad.
The Cardiff Lawyers are very grateful to their jersey sponsor Jones Giles, Business Recovery Services who made sure that the Cardiff Lawyers took to the field superbly kitted out.
A rousing pre-match talk from Fraser Stroud left many of the Cardiff Lawyers with tears in the eyes, but ready for action. The game kicked off at the Stade de Vincennes; the Cardiff Lawyers being captained for the first time by Dan Williams (No. 9). He had a fine game and lead by example throughout, making a great 9/10 combination with David Elias.
The French brought a good number of supporters with them. The Cardiff Lawyers had their own support who made their presence known; many thanks to Dennis and Linda Morgan, and the soon to be Mrs Waller. Matthew Gough joined them in supporting on this occasion through injury.
The French opted for passive scrums (something to do with their insurance). That decision was not unwelcome to the Cardiff Lawyers.
It was a physical encounter with hard hits going in from both sides, on occasion the odd hit from the Cardiff Lawyers going in a little early for which they were duly penalised. The referee even saw fit to castigate the Cardiff Lawyers’ entire back row for their exuberance.
The first half was fairly evenly matched, although a good move from the Paris’ backs saw them finish a well-deserved try to lead 5-0 at half time.
In the second half, a combination of fatigue and lack of replacements resulted in holes opening up in the Cardiff Lawyers defence. The French took their opportunities and added a further four tries. The Cardiff Lawyers however never gave up and had the last word. Good work from both forwards and backs saw James Elias run in the final try of the match from 20 yards out, taking defenders with him as he crashed over the line for a well-worked and well-deserved try.
Despite that, the home side won 31-7 but Cardiff Lawyers can be proud; everyone played their part in what was a thoroughly enjoyable game and trip. The Cardiff Lawyers’ squad comprised: James Davenport, David Elias, James Elias, Aled Evans, Geraint Fowler, Matthew Gough, Steven Hearne, Matthew de Maid, Jamie Mitchell, Michael Muston, Richard Pitt, Mark Rostron, Adam Waller, Dan Williams (C), Fraser Stroud.
Steven Hearne took man of the match for the Cardiff Lawyers.
Special thanks to James Davenport who interrupted a stag party to make himself available and put in a strong performance. Also to David and James Elias who had to wake at an unearthly hour to travel across Europe to join their team mates.
The French hospitality post-match was as usual magnificent.
The French will visit us next year to coincide with the Wales/France International. Anyone interested should contact Aled.Evansd@hughjames.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a marvellous opportunity to meet others in the legal profession in and around Cardiff and have fun while doing so.
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