Cardiff produced a real team effort today to fight back from an interval deficit and another score against them shortly after the restart to dominate the closing stages of a lively encounter.
It was an occasion to cherish: a warm sunny afternoon at a venue in pristine condition and an equally warm welcome from the Quins' officials and fans. It was a timely reminder of the merits of Principality Premiership rugby with the Supporters Club sharing their transport with the Cardiff team after the non-arrival of the team bus.
Full marks to the supporters for their assistance and full marks to the Blue & Blacks for paying their dues on the field of play. The starting XV played the full 80 minutes, the only replacement being a short while in the first half while Neil Coles was receiving five stitches for a cut head.
The flanker soon returned to the fray, his generously bandaged head make him look more piratical than ever as he built on the good impressions he made last week.
Not everything was sunshine and light. Cardiff were wasteful in the first half, failing to convert territorial possession into any significant points.
Gareth Williams-Davies had a fine game at fly-half and opened the scoring with a 35-metre penalty goal. That was soon cancelled out by a similar effort by his opposite number, Simon Daniel. Too many chances were going abegging but in the 20th minute Cardiff finally manufactured a try. It was worth waiting for as the play moved left and right and left again before Geraint Morris charged over unchallenged for a converted try.
Cardiff's pressure without points continued until they suffered the old one-two sucker punches in the final 10 minutes of the half. Quins' centre Gwion Bowen provided the flatest of passes for his co-centre Darren Simpson to split the midfield defence for an impressive try. Seven minutes later a penalty took the Quins back to the visitors' line from where home skipper Ben Grace was smuggled over for a try.
When Daniel kicked another penalty six minutes into the second half Cardiff needed to look to their laurels. But the game plan was working well. Williams-Davies was calmness personified at fly-half, Chris Stamatakis was poaching lineout ball, and Leon Andrews was contributing his usual battery of siege-gun touch kicks.
The game-turning score came after Gareth Knight charged downfield and though he was halted in the shadow of the home posts the ball was recycled right for Gavin Vaughan-Evans to squeeze over near the corner flag. Williams-Davies' touchline conversion was a real bonus.
Cardiff's 17-16 lead was wiped out by another Daniel penalty but Cardiff were far from finished. Playing the game in opposition territory the penalties eventually came and Williams-Davies duly obliged with two successful goals.
The game drifted into six minutes of added time but Owen Ruttley's team answered every challenge and deservedly came away with a good victory.