Carmarthen Quins
2007/2008 Konica Minolta Cup
Quins 15 v 43 Cardiff
26 January 2008 - The Park, Carmarthen

Match Report

Carmarthen Quins 15 Cardiff 43

Nathan Rees scored four of the Blue & Blacks' seven tries in a comfortable cup outing down west. The Quins had entertained thoughts of a repeat of their 2005 victory but the Division One high-fliers posed few threats after Cardiff registered two unconverted tries in the first quarter.

Cardiff were playing against the strong breeze in the opening 40 minutes but former Quin Craig Evans used his local knowledge to full effect in the second period as his towering tactical kicking pinned the hosts back in their own territory for long periods. For good measure his two successful conversions took his points tally for Cardiff to 398 – and in his 49th game for the club. Stand by for two more personal landmarks in the weeks ahead.

The Quins, for their part, fielded Josh Freeman and Daniel Gravell on the wings, both Arms Park recruits 18 months ago and now returned to their home base but who made little impression in a starved back line.

The club's travelling support received full value for their efforts as they saw Cardiff again turn in an efficient cup performance. If Rees claimed the headlines with his four tries – taking him to nine in eight outings this season – the less glamorous work was done by a pack in which Ross Johnston and the back row of Damian Welch, Adam Powell and Adam Whitney stood out.

After holding out against a lively Quins' opening, Cardiff struck on their first two visits to their opponents' half. Darren Ryan, on briefly as a blood replacement for Gareth Chapman, benefited from quick lineout ball to cross the gain line and set up Rees' first try in the 10th minute. Nine minutes later, Evans made the break before Roger Davies crossed.

The Quins then had their best period with fly-half Craig Jones slotting a simple penalty goal in the 28th minute and, three minutes later, hooker Chris Francis crossed after scrum-half Ricky Richards caught the visitors' napping at the front of a lineout. At 10-8 Quins were still in the game but right on half-time a marvellous attack set up a candidate for Cardiff's try of the season. Adam Whitney used all his pace up the right side before the ball was switched left and at least ten pairs of hands were eventually involved, including outstanding work by Johnston, before Welch touched down near the left corner. Evans' expertly judged conversion across a swirling wind was worthy of the brilliant try.

Cardiff's backs kept up their good work in the third quarter. Welch was heavily involved in Rees' second and third tries in the 42nd and 52nd minutes, with an Evans conversion stretching the lead to 29-8. Quins were far from demoralised and old adversary Dan Hawkins appeared as a replacement scrum-half to immediately make an impression with a trademark tap and go for an impish try converted by Jones. But the Blue & Blacks finished strongly with Ryan Howells backing up Roger Davies on the inside for a try and Rees, already with a hat trick to his name, now contributing a virtuoso individual effort from 50-metre range that left the defence flat-footed. Replacement Gareth Davies added the extras to both late tries.