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Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 20:37 GMT
Caerphilly win at last
Taunaholo Taufahema
'Taffy' Taufahema was the star of the show
Caerphilly 31-28 Ebbw Vale

The Cheesemen ended their epic losing streak in the domestic league with a thrilling victory at Virginia Park.

Caerphilly's last league success against Welsh opposition was also against the Steelmen, but that was back in March 2001 at Eugene Cross Park.

The win was achieved with their usual entertaining brand of attacking rugby as they outscored the visitors by four tries to three.

Flying Tongan wing Taumaholo 'Taffy' Taufahema was the star of the show with two of the home side's tries, the others falling to centres Roddy Boobyer and Ryan Howells.

Match details:
Tries: R Howells, R Boobyer, T Taufahema (2)
Cons: J Thomas (4)
Pen: Thomas
Ebbw Vale
Tries: R Davies, D Penisini, M Meenan
Cons: B Shelbourne (2)
Pens: Shelbourne (3)
Fly-half Justin Thomas converted all four and added a penalty to secure his side's first league points of the season.

Caerphilly shot into the lead with a try from Boobyer after Taufahema had made the running down the touchline.

Taufahema continued to cause problems to the Vale defence and registered a second try with a spectacular solo effort, kicking ahead from 40 metres out and beating three defenders to gather and score.

The visitors got back into the game when over-elaborate Caerphilly passing broke down near the Vale line.

Full-back Richard Davies picked up and raced the length of a field for a try that Bryan Shelbourne converted.

Caerphilly suddenly found their 14-3 lead narrowed to just one point when Shelbourne put over a penalty for a late tackle which took Simon Grainger into the sin bin.

It was 16-14 to Vale at the interval, but within minutes of the restart Taufahema won another thrilling race to touch down.

Captain Thomas added a penalty and then converted a score by Ryan Howells to create a margin of 15 points.

It looked all over when the Steelmen's Will Thomas went into the sin bin for a late tackle, but Ebbw staged a late comeback with tries in the last 10 minutes from Mark Meenan and replacement Damien Penisini.

The Cheesemen held on through seven minutes of additional time to record a long-overdue and well-deserved victory.

Caerphilly: Sione Tuipulotu; Ryan Howells, Roddy Boobyer, Sam Cox, Taunaholo Taufahema; Justin Thomas (capt), Allen Chiltern; Lee Manning, Feao Vunipola, Richard Skuse, Mark Workman, Nic Rouse, Gareth Jones, Simon Grainger, Andrew Williams.
Reps: Luke Richards, Owain Ashman, Darren Sweet, Geraint Liddon, Christian Ferris, Neil Watkins, Gareth Williams.

Ebbw Vale: Richard Davies; Aaron Takarangi, Rhys Shorney, Tim Bagg, Andrew Bevan; Scott Mitchell, Bryan Shelbourne, Adam Black, Leyton Philips (capt), Martin Jones, Chay Billen, Peter Sidoli, Will Thomas, Paul Williams, Kati Tuipulotu.
Reps: Damien Penisini, Jonathan Evans, Hudd, Tyron Morris, Ed Binham, Mark Meenan, Nick Wakley.

Ref: D Davies (WRU)

Att: 540

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