Cardiff earned a well deserved bonus point win at St Helens last night as they ran out victors 33-8 over bottom of the table Swansea.
Kicking off in the early evening sunshine Cardiff made a bright start. Having established a foothold in the home side’s half pressure on the ball carrier resulted in turnover ball. That was moved from one side of the pitch to the other through several pairs of hands creating space for Dan Fish to score in the corner.
That lead was extended by a James Thomas penalty before Swansea got on the scoreboard with a try by Aled Jenkins. They drew level ten minutes later when Luke Price struck a long range penalty over, but that was to be all the home sides scoring for the night as the Cardiff defence slammed the door shut at every other opportunity. Rory Watts-Jones was at the heart of everything the Cardiff forwards did and Fish marshalled the backs defensive effort, pulled off a fantastic covering tackle to stop Nicky Smith going over for the home side.
That solid defensive effort allowed Cardiff to open up when going forward. Thomas Young and Macauley Cook showing the way and allowing the backs some freedom to run. When they did only desperate tackling from Swansea snuffed out the attack. Jamie Davies came close towards the end of the half but was only stopped by a high tackle. From the penalty Cardiff went to the corner and as the rolling maul disintegrated Garyn Lucas found himself with the ball and over the line but on his back. The scrum half had the sense to place the ball on the ground over his head to give Cardiff a five point half time advantage.
The second half saw more great covering by the visitors. Thomas extended the lead with a penalty and when it seamed The Whites would break free a Blue & Black shirt would pop up and kill the move, Shaun Powell pulling off another try saving tackle when it looked certain Swansea would score. Going forward there was plenty of pace to use and when Jamie Davies gave Fish a chance to run he raced into space before stabbing the ball behind the Swansea cover. His pace was enough to get him to the ball first and as it popped up he gathered and scooted under the posts. Thomas added the extras.
It was only a matter of time before the bonus point try arrived. After several attempts at short lineouts it was from a Swansea defensive lineout that it came. Dan Partridge pinching the ball before the forwards rumbled towards the line. When that was stopped Partridge was on hand to crash over. Thomas again adding the conversion and a late penalty to give make the sore look comfortable
Nicky Smith , Paul John (c), Ian Williams , Rory Thornton , James Bija , Matthew Davies , Rob Dudley-Jones , Jake Cole , Luke Price , Rhys Williams , David Watts , Aled Jenkins , Nathan Brooks , Richard Williams
Replacements: Cameron Clement for David Watts (16), Chris Shelmerdine for Paul John (62)
Aled Jenkins (18)
Luke Price (29)
50: James McKenna - Yellow
Lewis Smout , Ethan Lewis , Callum Lewis , Nick White , Dan Partridge , Macauley Cook , Thomas Young , Rory Watts-Jones , Garyn Lucas , James Thomas , Steve Cullen , Darren Ryan , Shaun Powell (c), Jamie Davies , Dan Fish
Replacements: Jason Tovey for Steve Cullen (26), Thomas Davies for Nick White (39), Nick White for Thomas Davies (43), Thomas Davies for Lewis Smout (54), Joe Griffin for Darren Ryan (61), Ben Roach for Thomas Young (71), Tomos Ellis Williams for Garyn Lucas (72), Aaron Fowler for Ethan Lewis (72), Rhys James for Callum Lewis (72), Macauley Cook for Macauley Cook (73)
Dan Fish (7, 53), Garyn Lucas (40+), Dan Partridge (69)
James Thomas (54, 69)
James Thomas (23, 49, 77)
28: Rory Watts-Jones - Yellow , 35: Lewis Smout - Yellow
Rhys Thomas (Wales)