Cardiff’s record of never having won a Premiership game at The Talbot Athletic ground continues - everyone though will be wondering how.
The Blue and Blacks had a majority of the possession and blew several chances that would have seen them clear well before half time.
Most of the game in the first half was played between the two twenty-twos, the home side only managing to get near the visitors line three times. Cardiff managed that feat more often, the difference being the Wizards score every time.
Their first try was as early as the third minute, the Cardiff backs were attempting to creating space but the pass was intercepted by Richard Thomas who raced away to score under the posts. Their second try came from a missed tackle after another aimless kick had landed in the hands of sevens specialist Ricky Thomas. He fed Marc Breeze who went past a static defence to give a scoring pass to scrum half Dan Davies.
The third followed a minute later. Wing Richard Carter broke down the right, chipped the defence, collected his kick to score in the corner. Jamie Davies added the extras to all three tries and the Blue and Blacks, despite having all the ball were 21-0 down.
It wasn’t to be all one way traffic though, hooker Breeze was sent to the bin shortly before half time. During that period Cardiff managed to get on the score-board following a massive scum effort that ended in a penalty try just before half time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, Cardiff attacking but not being able to apply the final pass. In fact Aberavon extended their lead with a Matthew Jarvis penalty before the visitors got their second try.
The pressure the forwards were exerting was yielding plenty of ball. Dan Partridge was ruling the line-out and the front five were shunting the home scrum about. Eventually that pressure told when the ball was worked from one side of the pitch to the other the Wizards ran out of defenders allowing Richard Smith to score a try that Joe Griffin converted.
Jarvis landed another penalty for the home side before a moment that no one wants to see on a rugby pitch, the sight of a player being carried off on a stretcher. Rhys James was in a heavy collision and was on the ground for several minutes with the medics in attendance to ensure there were no issues.
The game had ten minutes left at that stage and for those ten minutes the Blue & Blacks were forced to defend to stop the Wizards gaining a bonus point try. This they managed, but with seconds left an air- ambulance was flying in to take James off to hospital. Strangely, rather that stopping the game and calling it a day to allow it to land, referee Watkins decided there was time for ‘one quick scrum’ before blowing for no side.
James was flown to Morrison as more of a precaution more than anything. Last night he was released from hospital following the all clear from the x-rays.