2004/2005 WRU National League
Cardiff 19 v 3 Aberavon
23 February 2005 - Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Match Report

Cardiff 19 Aberavon 3

Cardiff's fifth consecutive Premier Division win left only one question unanswered, namely why they did not win a predominantly one-sided match more comfortably.In freezing conditions handling mistakes were understandable, even when the build-up was excellent and the final pass went to ground. This was particularly the case in the second half as the Blue & Blacks failed to ram home their overwhelming territorial advantage.

It was injury time before Dan McShane touched down for the second try of the match but at least that put some air of respectability on this latest victory. At various times in the half Elgan Jones twice cut the defence wide open only for the moves to fizzle out a the last minute, a charge-down by Gareth Knight somehow didn't end in a try and a pass to the speedy Nick Gill went behind him with the line at his mercy.

The only other try had come midway through the first half when turnover ball was clinically exploited by Matthew Nuthall as he turned on the after-burners in a sprint to the corner.Inevitably the spotlight was on Nick Robinson in his first full game of rugby since last June. He came through unscathed, displaying a familiar touch of class with time to spare when in possession. The second of his two penalty goals soared over from the right touchline and he also slotted an excellent drop goal from 30 metres after another Cardiff attack showed no signs of leading to a try.

Referee Tony Rowlands did Cardiff few favours, not least when he harshly sin-binned Michael Leaman for offside when the ball had already emerged on the Aberavon side of a ruck. The visitors only points had come from a 17th minute penalty goal by Jamie Davies and, long before the end, there seemed little prospect of their adding further points in an uninspired display.

Cardiff, meanwhile, march on with another stiff test awaiting them at Newport on Sunday afternoon.