As a dress rehearsal for the Swalec cup semi final next weekend it didn’t go as well as Cardiff would have liked.
The game started well for the home side. Within 5 minutes they were 7 points up. Following good work by the forwards Gareth Davies slipped a simple pass to Garyn Lucas who shot through a hole in the defensive line to score. Worryingly t was to be Davies’ last action as he hobbled off. Darren Ryan was left to add the extras.
Llanelli hit back shortly after as the game opened up in the Arms Park sunshine. A flowing move from a set piece allowed fullback Newton to create an overlap to put in centre Nick Reynolds. Steve Shingler bringing the scores level with a difficult conversion. Ten minutes later the lead was extended with Shingler slotting a penalty for off-side.
Cardiff were though getting the upper hand up front and this gave rise to the next score. Darren Ryan pushed a penalty to within five metres and from the lineout the forwards rumbled over in the corner, Kristiian Gay emerging with the ball. Ryan converted from the touchline.
The game then swayed backwards and forwards as both sides tried to play rugby at pace, Jimmy Norris showing his intent by breaking the line on several occasions only to be stopped by last ditch defence. It was the visitors who scored next though. A blindside break saw prop Ceri Jones score, Shingler converted.
From the kick off Cardiff were awarded a penalty. Ryan again showing his kicking prowess to gain the Blue & Blacks three points. Llanelli though hadn’t finished for this half yet, and a try by Nathan White gave them a half time 25-17 lead
The second half followed the pattern of the first, both sides attacked but handling errors let them down. Cardiff’s forwards earned the first try of the half. Another catch and drive at the line out lead to Garry Horrigan crashing over at the back of the maul.
Injuries by now were taking their toll. All the home team’s subs had been used when Craig Everett had to leave the field, leaving them with fourteen men. Llanelli took advantage. Two tries, one by Jonny Lewis, the other at the death by Justin James gave them a bonus point win.
There wont be bonus points on offer next week. Hopefully all the Blue and Black ‘actors’ will get their lines right at St Helens.