The Blue and Blacks are still waiting for their first Premiership win at St Helen’s after the Whites scored a try deep in injury time to snatch an unlikely draw.
It was a disappointing end to a roller-coaster afternoon that started badly with a delayed kick-off after a traffic snarl up but got distinctly better as Tristan Davies’ side twice built match winning leads only for them to be cancelled out.
Cardiff led 13-0 after the first quarter, trailed 13-15 at the interval and 13-22 early in the second half but performed wonders to be ahead 34-29 with time running out.Then Swansea replacement Richard Payne crashed over in the corner to tie the scores.
In a scenario eerily reminiscent of last season’s league clash at the ground Nicky Thomas then had a possible conversion from the edge of touch to complete Cardiff’s misery. But the wing couldn’t repeat Ricky Williams’ heroics of nine months ago and the draw was some consolation for the Blue and Blacks.
They could also be satisfied with their first bonus point of the campaign for their four try haul and now they remain comfortably placed in third spot in the Premiership table.
The real downside of the afternoon was a serious leg injury to Shaun James that was later confirmed as ligament damage.
Gareth Davies kicked two early penalty goals and converted a try scored by Luke Evans after good work by Darren Fenton. But then the game went away from Cardiff. James was stretchered off and taken to hospital and Richard Cornock was sin-binned by Nigel Whitehouse. Sensing their chance Swansea ran in two tries before half-time from Thomas and Mike Evans, with Thomas converting the first and adding a penalty goal.
Cardiff were caught napping at the start of the second half with Martin Roberts crossing for another seven-pointer. Craig Evans, on as a replacement for Shaun James then finished off a fine sustained attack and Davis converted only for Thomas to convert his own try for a 29-20 home lead.
Tom James, returning to Blue and Black duty after an eventful ten months with the Blues and Wales, was then in the thick of the action. But no sooner had his try at the posts been converted by Davies than the newly-capped flyer was sin-binned for an alleged spear tackle.
But Cardiff were far from finished and Evans chipped ahead for Ryan Howells to score and Davies’ conversion seemed to have settled the result at 34-29. As injury time stretched on and on there was a certain inevitability about the eventual denouement and Payne’s try secured the draw for the Whites.