Cardiff and Llanelli served up a New Year Feast at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park with nine tries and plenty of incident.
The Blue & Blacks started brightly and had early possession. This though could not be turned into points as Llanelli defended well across the field. And that defence was to turn into the first points as Cardiff extended the giving season by a few days. First a miss-pass near the visitor’s line ended in the arms of Jordan Williams who raced down the touchline to score and convert. The second gift came in the form of another loose ball as Cardiff attacked in the twenty-two, this time former Cardiff winger Harry Robinson was first to it and hack it on downfield. The ball bounced up nicely for the winger to score although a pulled hamstring from the run meant he took no further part in the game.
Present number three saw centre Steffan Hughes fly-hacked another loose ball in midfield close to Llanelli’s line. Robinson’s replacement Shaun Pearce gathered the ball to score under the posts, Williams converted both. Johnathan Edwards got one back for Cardiff as he ploughed over from a short lineout, James Thomas on target with that conversion but Llanelli were seemingly home and hosed when Nathan Edwards evaded the Cardiff tacklers to score under the sticks for the bonus point try just before the break.
It was a different Cardiff in the second half. Suddenly everything seemed to click into place. The pack dominated the Llanelli scrum and when it was reduced to seven the inevitable penalty try form a catch a drive was awarded. And penalty tries became the top score in matches between Cardiff and Llanelli this season as a second was awarded at a scrum as Llanelli wheeled the set piece around. That made it four in two game for the Blue & Blacks following two at Parc-Y-Scarlets earlier in the season.
Llanelli gave themselves some breathing space when Nathan Edwards scored but Cardiff were determined to put up a fight. James Murphy romped over following great work by man of the match Jevon Groves to cut the deficit to one score. That though proved to be too much despite a few chances in the final minutes. Cardiff gained two bonus points but will regret the mistakes early on that cost them the game.