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ABERAVON compensated for an opening day defeat at Pontypool by accounting for Rumney at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

A strong wind was always going to play a big part in settling the issue - and the Cardiff side failed to get airborne.

They decided to take first use of the elements, but at half time the Wizards led 136.

That all but tossed the initiative away, and the First Division title holders won cleverly.

The catalyst behind the home victory was former Bridgend and Cambridge University scrum-half Owen Rutley.

His darting runs frequently stretched Rumney and his 43rd minute try was right out of the top drawer.

Rutley, the 22-year-old former Cowbridge Comprehensive School product, stole away from a scrum 40 metres out and showed a clean pair of heels to the Rumney defence.

That lifted the Wizards into a 20-9 lead, and there was simply no way back for the capital city side.

Aberavon hit the front as early as 90 seconds when scrum-half Rutley worked the blind side and wing Daran Griffiths released full-back Ricky Price for a corner try.

Rumney responded with two Matthew Silva penalties. Aberavon battened down the hatches and struck out in the 32nd minute with the try of the game.

Wing Nicky Bonham broke from inside his own 22 and strong running from flanker Andrew Thomas and Rutley sent full-back Price over.

A Jamie Davies penalty completed the first half scoring and after Rutley's solo effort, slick hands from wing Griffiths and replacement centre Paul Morgan released Griffiths for a try at the posts.

Aberavon completed the scoring with a second Davies penalty and, although Rumney attacked towards the end, the game was all over for them.


CLEAN TAKE: Llanharan's Terry Cross wins a line-out
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 9, 2001
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