The look of utter dejection on the faces of the entire Cardiff team at the final whistle said it all at Pontypool Park this evening.
Having led until the 53rd minute, then pulled back to a one point deficit in the final stages a last minute penalty goal opportunity bang in front of the Pooler's posts seemed certain to secure a precious second away victory of the campaign.
But it was not to be. Chris Anderson's kick sailed wide and defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory. Spare a thought for the fly-half. He gives the team vital service : 40 games and nearly 350 points last season; almost an ever-present and nigh on 100 points again so far this season; four successful penalties earlier in this match. He deserved better than the denouement here.
Whether the team did as a whole is more debatable. A solid forward effort, with late additions Nathan Llewellyn and Mark Lewis playing their part. Backs as ever in recent weeks wasteful. Behind the scrum ambition abounds but execution is lacking. Perhaps it is time for a more pragmatic approach, winning games rather than attempting running rugby that is seemingly out of this team's reach at the present time.
Freezing conditions did little to help either side but the Pooler had the satisfaction of scoring the only try of the night and a cracking one it was. Old adversary Lenny Woodard raced down the wing and flanker Gavin Donaldson was at his elbow to gleefully accept the scoring pass.
Centre Adam Sliczny, who had already kicked two penalties, converted to give his team the lead for the first time. But Anderson was also striking the ball well. Cardiff led 6-0, were pegged back to 6-all, led 9-6 early in the second half, and came back to 12-13 after falling 9-13 behind.
In the final reckoning, however, it is the pressure kicks that usually settle the final results of matches such as these. Remember Newport's last minute winner from all of 40 metres a few weeks ago?