Cardiff ended a five game loosing streak against Neath at the Arms Park. Cardiff started sharply and Gareth Davies gave them an early lead with a short range penalty following sustained pressure. A few minutes later and Davies was instrumental in the first try of the game. Having worked their way downfield the ball was moved wide. When it looked as if a loose pass in midfield would put an end to the move Aaron Fowler picked up the bouncing ball superbly from the floor to continue the move. From the next ruck the ball was recycled and when it reached Davies he put through a grubber kick that Ellis Jenkins pounced on to score, Davies added the extras.
Cardiff were attacking at pace every time they got the ball, only strong defending kept the score at 10-0 for the next quarter of the game. But the defence was to crack eventually. Neath were forced to clear from near their own line into touch and from the lineout a driving maul was shunted over the line with Dan Crimmins at the bottom to score. Davies again was on target with the conversion and just before halftime he added his second penalty to give the Blue & Blacks a half time 20-0 lead.
The first quarter of the second half was more of the same. Neath’s defence was constantly under pressure and that led to try number three. As the ball was run out by the Welsh All Blacks Aaron Fowler spotted the move and picked off the pass on the ten meter line. The hooker had a long way to go but made it without having a hand laid on him.
That though was the end of the scoring for the Blue & Blacks. Just as it looked like a bonus point was going to be a formality Neath upped their game. It was the visitors who looked like the side in charge. They nearly got themselves on the board when Kevin James raced clear. Will Thomas had other ideas though and a fantastic cover tackle pushed the Neath winger into touch two meters from the line.
hen Cardiff were reduced to fourteen men following a sin-bin for not rolling away the visitors did find a way through. From a short range scrum Rhys Jones scrambled over the line, Dai Langdon converted and the comeback had started. The second try came through Kevin James, the powerful winger bursting through a tackle to score in the corner.
Cardiff were now defending for their lives, and sonly stern tackling was keeping a rejuvenated Neath a bay. When they did manage to find a way through Thomas was again on hand to make a last ditch tackle to keep them from getting a score that would have made the last few minutes interesting. As it was Cardiff had been the better side throughout most of the game and were deserved winners 25-12.