2005/2006 Konica Minolta Cup
Laugharne 12 v 39 Cardiff
03 December 2005 - Wooford Park, Laugharne

Match Report

Laugharne 12 Cardiff 39

The ghosts of Captain Cat, Polly Garter and Organ Morgan  and other friends of Dylan Thomas were nowhere to be seen and the skeletons of recent Premiership performances stayed firmly in the cupboard as the Blue & Blacks secured a comfortable win at Laugharne.

Taking on new opponents on their own patch in the early rounds of the cup invariably poses unique challenges but Cardiff were equal to the task at Wooford (one wag wondered in advance whether Woeful would be more appropriate given results of late) Park.

The secret of such cup ties is usually to strike early and get the doubts out of the mind. Owen Ruttley's side did just that and in some style. Unperturbed by the late withdrawals of Jonathan Hill and the talismanic Chris Stamatakis through illness but boosted by the availability of Mark Lewis (himself shaking off a heavy cold) they blitzed their hosts in the opening quarter.

Lewis set a fine example with his ball carrying and there was no shortage of willing lieutenants at his elbow. A particular badge of honour goes to Chris Anderson, shaking off recent setbacks to finish with a perfect six out of six with his goalkicks (half of them from tricky angles) and linking well in the pivotal role.

The fly-half had already slotted two early penalties and converted a try by Ruttley (from a 5-metre scrum) before he intercepted a loose Laugharne pass on half way and sent Lewis charging towards the posts for the second try.

Twenty points in as many minutes was a good start but the try-fest was not yet complete. Immediately from the restart the backs were away again and Leon Andrews provided the perfect final pass for Francesco Brillante to race clear. Anderson converted from near the touchline and then was at hand to spin out a lovely floated pass for Lewis to gain a well-deserved second touchdown. Again the conversion went over and the Blue & Blacks' travelling army (well, battalion at least) breathed a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, that was the end of Cardiff's scoring for the best part of an hour. The bog-like pitch took its toll, mistakes crept in and the hosts fought back in great style. Second half tries by skipper Roger Thomas and Mark Stephenson, the second converted by Jonathan Owen, was nothing less than they deserved.

Home fans loved the resurgence in their team; Cardiff's had the added satisfaction of seeing their side having the final word when replacement Chris Purcell crossed in the corner for the fifth try in injury time.

It was a satisfying day out for all concerned and, as Dylan Thomas might have said, when Cardiff went to Laugharne it definitely wasn't a case of 'Llareggub' spelt backwards........