It may have been icy and snowy everywhere else but the under soil heating at Parc-y-Scarlets ensured that this Premiership game was one of only four played in Wales across all league
The opening minutes saw a game of kicking ping pong that resulted in Llanelli gaining a foothold in the Blue & Blacks half. Their reward was a penalty that Steve Shingler pushed wide.
The first score went to the visitors. From a Llanelli lineout near the halfway line, the ball was lost and quick hands from the visitors’ winger Steve Taylor was put in the clear. With half the pitch to cover he out-paced the defence to score, Scott Sneddon converting.
Llanelli looked to hit back and the Blue & Black’s defence was stretched to its limits. Twice a try seemed imminent but try saving tackles from Jimmy Norris and Rhys Dyer kept a clean sheet. That wasn’t to last though, scrum half Aled Davies slipping over from a short range scrum, Shingler again failed to land the kick.
Straight from the kick-off Llanelli infringed and Sneddon was able to extend the lead with a forty metre penalty.
Shingler did eventually find his range finder to kick a simple penalty for the home side and was on target once again when Cardiff were reduced to fourteen following sustained pressure from Llanelli. Sneddon re-gained the lead for Cardiff with another penalty, but Shingler was on target with two further penalties before half-time to give the home side a 17-13 lead.
The second half started as the first had with another territorial kicking battle, this time it was Llanelli’s turn to go a man down as prop Trystan Davies was binned for killing the ball. Sneddon landed the penalty and Cardiff seemed to have turned a corner in the territory stakes. Dan Godfrey and Tom Brown driving into the heart of the Llanelli defence drove the Blue and Blacks up-field. Cardiff then had a series of scrums on the Llanelli line but when the ball came out of the side the home side were able to clear.
That seemed to be the lift Llanelli needed and from there they took control. Dyer’s covering tackle saved a certain try, but Shingler extended the lead with another penalty. From another penalty replacement scrum half Gareth Davies went on an arcing run to score in the corner, and then to rub slat in Llanelli scored from a five meter scrum, Shingler converting the later.
Another away-day defeat for the Blue & Blacks and with Carmarthen to come next week it doesn’t get any easier.