A game of two halves is a cliché often used in sport, but if you are looking for a prime example of it this was the game to pick.
It started so well. Cardiff scored at over a point a minute for the first quarter. The first try came after a series of penalties for scrum offences. Tom Slater was awake to gaps in the Carmarthen defence, took a quick tap, fed Gareth Davies who sliced through one of those holes. Darren Ryan was on his shoulder to score under the posts, Davies converted.
The lead was doubled three minutes later, Davies again involved, a sublime flip pass put Ryan Howells through. No one laid a finger on him as her scooted in near the corner, Davies again added the extras. The Blue and Blacks power up front was creating plenty of opportunities for the lively backs, James Loxton found a hole in the defence, only for his chip through to elude Ryan Howells as it crept over the dead ball line. Points though were to follow, Davies converting a penalty for another scrum offence.
Quins got on the board shortly after, hands in a ruck gave James Garland a shot at goal that he landed. Shortly after he doubled his sides score with another penalty. Davies cancelled out that effort two minutes later.
The home side though were still attacking at every chance, and this was to lead to the third try. Following pressure the Quins scrambled the ball into touch. Cardiff claimed the ball from a line-out, moved it along the line, Davies had looped around the back of the move to receive the scoring pass. He converted his own try for a 27-6 half time score line.
The second half though was memorable for being forgettable. The visitors came out with attacking intent but didn’t make any early impressions. Cardiff huffed and puffed to gain the bonus point try but couldn’t blow the Quins house down. Too many unforced errors saw the game become a stop start affair. The referee brandished three yellow cards, two to the visitors, but even that failed to produce the bonus point try.
The only scores came from Carmarthen. Full back Anthony Rees crossed in the corner following a short period of pressure. Replacement Cull landed the conversion from wide out and then slotted a short range penalty.
A win is not to be sniffed at in this season’s Premiership, but everyone in the ground knew it should have been so much better.