The Blue & Blacks completed an encouraging back-to-back away double, following up their big win at Ebbw Vale with another victory on the road. But this was a very different performance to a week ago as for a long period of the game the Wanderers threatened to be worthy winners. Not for the first time in a local derby at the Memorial Ground the hosts were fast out of the blocks. With their lineout not functioning and too many balls being spilled in contact, the Blue & Blacks played the vast majority of the first half on the back foot and deep in their own territory before their greater pace paid off after the interval.
To no one's great surprise, the Wanderers announced team was changed beforehand with 'replacements' Dan Fish and Sam Warburton taking their expected places in the starting line-up. If that smokescreen fooled nobody, then it was equally anticipated that the Wanderers would be fired up for this encounter. And so it proved as they regained possession from their own kick-off and set up camp within range of Cardiff's line. When the Blue & Blacks finally reached the home half in the eighth minute Gareth Davies slotted a 30-metre penalty goal that took his personal tally to exactly 50 in only the fourth game of the season.
The lead was shortlived, first cancelled out by a similar effort from Scott Sneddon and then overhauled by two tries from the lively Wanderers. A botched Cardiff clearance allowed Sneddon to ran the ball back into the visitors' 22 and Rory Budina touched down in the far corner. On the brink of the interval there was a less clearcut try as an apparent knock-on was ignored before Charlie Johnson claimed the score and Sneddon converted. Yet the Wanderers fully deserved their 15-3 lead at the break.
Wanderers started the second half as they finished the first but Cardiff were beginning to develop a forward platform of their own. The reward came in the 51st minute when Jamie Ringer won ball at the tail of the lineout and a lovely flat pass from Davies put Gareth Chapman clean through the centre for a try under the posts that the fly-half easily converted.
Both sides were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes when replacement Garry Horrigan and pint sized scrum-half Harry Trelawny were binned after an unlikely bout of fisticuffs that threatened to become a mismatch of epic proportions. But the match itself was far more evenly contested and it was almost inevitable that Cardiff would sooner rather than later draw level. Davies, maturing by the week in the pivotal position, launched the deftest of cross kicks to the far right corner where Mr Dependable, Ryan Howells, gathered for the equalising try.
It was now the turn of the home side to lose shape and pattern in their game and Cardiff cleverly built up attacks through the phases. The winning score came from stolen lineout ball near the right corner, a lightning fast pass by replacement scrum-half Darren Allinson, and again the after-burners of Chapman provided the decisive break for Craig Morgan to be at his elbow for the try on the left.