Eight tries, a bonus point before half time, the second highest Premiership points tally and a couple of personal landmarks wasn’t a bad way to kick off the new league season.
The coaches will of course say there were things to work on but every one in the crowd went home happy with a performance that saw scoring from the first minute to the last. The first score was right from the kick-off. Quins infringing on the ten metre line, Gareth Davies landing the penalty kick.
It was Davies himself who added next to the tally. The Blue & Blacks had worked their way into the opposition twenty-two, and from a line out the ball was release to the backs, the outside half slipped through a hole to score under the posts for a 10 – nil lead.
The visitors put themselves in the game with a try of their own two minutes later, Stuart Phillips scoring in the corner. Gareth Cull couldn’t convert, but did land a penalty to narrow the gap to two points.
That was as close as they got, the first milestone was brought up when Rhys Shellard crossed for his 100th point in Blue & Black following a break by James Lewis, Davies converting and adding two more penalties.
Cardiff’s third was scored by Lewis. Darren Ryan had created space in the midfield. Steve Taylor was on hand to receive a pop pass and give Lewis a twenty metre run in.
Cull landed a penalty for the visitors shortly after but the bonus point was achieved on the stroke of halftime as Davies seized on a mistake in the visitors back line, gathered the loose ball and cantered under the posts, half time Cardiff 37 Quins 11.
The second half saw more of the same. More pressure on the Quins saw them loose the ball near their own line. Grant Harrington, celebrating being appointed captain, crashed over from short range to extend the lead.
The game did have its set backs, two yellow cards saw the Blue & Black have to defend at points in the game. Having only conceded a penalty during the first 10 minutes the defence held firm in the second period of fourteen men before another landmark was reached when Nathan Trevett came onto the field for his 50th appearance.
The visitors did score once more, Dan George crossing for Cull to convert. Cardiff though had the upper hand, and three more tries followed. Ben Phillips crossed after a flowing move found the hooker on the wing. Steve Taylor ran a ball out of defence to create space for Lewis to grab his brace as he out-sprinted the defence, and Joe Griffin added the finishing touches to an all-round team performance right on the final whistle, scoring and converting his own try.
A pleasing day for the crowd in the sunshine. Now it’s over to the coaching staff, gentlemen we look forward to next week………………