Cardiff went out of the Welsh National Cup at the BT Sport Arms Park on Saturday night against Championship leaders Pontypool.
In a very competitive first half it was Cardiff who put the first points on the board as Gareth Thompson was on target with two penalties, the second for a pull back off the ball that really deserved further sanction. But Pooler were soon on the board themselves as Man of the Match Sieno Tu’ilulotu intercepted a mid-field pass and sent Nathan Brooks on his was under the posts. Matthew Jones added the extra before increasing the lead with a forty metre penalty. But Cardiff were back in front almost immediately. The pack had set up a position near the visitors line and when the ball was released to the backs Thompson spotted a small hole which he happily waltzed through for a try he converted. Thomson added a further penalty before Pontypool again grabbed the lead in this seesaw half. A set move from a scrum in the Cardiff twenty-two saw the ball used well behind and created an overlap that Josh Hurley exploited. Jones again added a difficult conversion but Cardiff went in at half time ahead thanks to a Thompson penalty for a high tackle just before the break.
The second half belonged to the visitors though. Within five minutes of the restart they were back in front. A lineout was won cleanly and given to the backs who’s lines of running caused confusion in the Blue & Black defence. Clayton Gullis being the one to receive the ball and score near the sticks. Jones added the extras and pushed Pooler two scores clear with a penalty a few minutes later. Thompson though wasn’t going to let Cardiff go down without a fight and his two penalties mid-way through the half kept the home side in touch, but the visitors had other ideas.
With ten minutes left Rob Nash powered over following a flowing move, again Jones landed a conversion from wide out. And he all but sealed the game with two further penalties that restored the two score advantage. Cardiff did get one score back when Ethan Lewis went over following a length of the filed move but it wasn’t to be enough as Pontypool finished the game in the ascendancy as Jones landed a final minute penalty to round off proceedings.