2007/2008 Principality Premiership
Cardiff 29 v 8 Bedwas
22 December 2007 - Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Match Report

Cardiff 29 Bedwas 8

It wasn't pretty and the performance was riddled with mistakes but a home win over doughty Bedwas is never to be sniffed at.

The narrow interval lead of 7-3 raised suspicions of another visitors' hit-and-run looming ahead in the second half but, instead, the Blue & Blacks got their act together and ran out comfortable winners. Overwhelming territorial and possession advantage took its toll on the visitors and, without ever being at their slickest, the Blue & Blacks secured their fourth try and a bonus point on the brink of added time.

Fittingly it was Leigh Halfpenny, who narrowly shaded the redoubtable Damian Welch as man of the match, who delivered the vital touchdown after a typically mercurial run. To see him turn the last line of defence one way and then the other before leaving him flat-footed was enough to warm the heart on another chilly afternoon.With his goal-kicking as an added bonus, it confirmed one again that his recruitment last spring was a masterstroke by the team management. So, too, was the signing of Welch who goes from strength to strength at blindside flanker after cutting his Cardiff teeth in his first half-dozen league games at lock.

In an otherwise undistinguished first half the brightest moment was provided by Ryan Howells who came off the blindside wing to scythe through the middle after an attacking scrum and Gareth Chapman's eye for the line did the rest. Halfpenny converted but also hit an upright with an attempted 25-metre penalty goal.

Bedwas, remarkably unimaginative in their attacking strategies, stayed in touch with a 25th minute penalty goal. The referee was, though, notably patient in his control of the contact areas. Quite why there were no sinbinnings for the plethora of penalties remained a mystery.

On the brink of half time Bedwas hooker Kieran Crawford escaped with a ticking off after yet another infringement at a ruck but opposite number Ross Johnston was less fortunate, being forced to retire with a hand injury.In the second half, Halfpenny added a penalty goal before replacement fly-half Gareth Davies cut towards the posts and Adam Powell finished off the move with his seventh try of the season. Six minutes later another attacking scrum set up a blindside move and Nathan Rees took full advantage of the overlap for a simple try.

A forward fracas in front of the main stand livened up proceedings in the latter stages before Bedwas scored a consolation try from replacement prop Peter Harrison. Then Halfpenny left his imprint on proceedings with his fine try, a personal tally of 14 points – and Cardiff are top of the Premiership table tonight.  


Official : Gwyn Morris (Wales)

Cardiff Bedwas