The Blue & Blacks came off second best at Carmarthen Park in a game that lived up to the term ‘a game of two halves’.
Cardiff played into the wind in the first period, and it started so well. After a couple of high kicks had been fumbled by the home defence, the visitors set up a scrum five metres out. A few rumbles by the forwards created some space and Steve Taylor was able to cruise in un-opposed after four minutes. Scott Sneddon added the extras.
The wind and light drizzle were playing their part in a scrappy first half, with the ball being like the proverbial bar of soap. Kickers were also having their fair share of problems, home fullback James Stephenson having a long-range effort blown off course. Sneddon though was able to use the wind to his favour, slotting two penalties to extend the Blue & Blacks lead.
Stephenson was able to get his side on the board and score the first of his 21 points. A loose ball was worked to winger Daniel who gave the scoring pass to the supporting fullback. Sneddon and Stephenson swapped penalties before the half time whistle, but a 16-10 advantage was not to prove to be enough.
As the second half started the wind and rain increased, forcing the Blue & Blacks to attempt to move the ball rather than kick it. Stephenson added another penalty before the Quins decided that running the ball out of defence was a good plan when they had the wind. It backfired when the ball was lost, and from the resulting field position the rarest of sights was seen as Owen Ruttley dropped a short rage goal, his first in over 170 appearances.
Gareth Morgan brought the score closer for the Quins with a penalty before Sneddon followed Ruttley’s lead with another drop goal to restore the advantage. From there things went from bad to worse for the Blue & Blacks. Ian Jones crashed over after a loose ball was picked off by the home team, Stephenson converted. He also added two penalties, one for the touchline to extend the home side’s advantage.
Cardiff has a chance at the death to level the scores, but after a few pick and drives near the home line the ball, as it had been for a majority of the night, was spilt and referee Davies blew for no side.