Cardiff made it four wins in a row in the Principality Premiership and moved it to second spot as the beat a strong Aberavon side at the Arms Park.
The visitors though had the better of the opening exchanges as their back three looked to attack from everywhere. The Blue & Blacks were up to the challenge defensively though and were able to clear any danger. And the home side were first on the scoreboard, a little bit against the run of play. The Wizards were again on the attack, but when the move broke down Dan Fish, Daf Smith and Will Rees-Hole combined to get James Beal a bit of space near the half way line. The speedster needed no second invitation to put on the afterburners as he raced into the corner. Gareth Thompson hit the post with the difficult conversion.
Aberavon got on the scoreboard with what was to be their only score of the night. Steff Williams slotting a penalty after an offside call. Cardiff nearly doubled their advantage a few minutes later but a forward pass halted the run by Beal after Thompson’s lovely weighted pass set him free. Thompson though did extend the lead with a penalty before Williams missed a simple chance to cancel that effort out.
But the Cardiff attacks were building more momentum as the game went out. Their second try can from a lineout on half way. Ball off the top went to Rhodri Cole and with the Wizards looking for a backs move the scrum half shot between the defence and raced into the twenty-two before feeding Will Rees-Hole to score. Thompson added the extras to give Cardiff a 15-3 half time lead.
The second half saw Cardiff playing all the rugby as Aberavon ran out of ideas against a Cardiff defence that wasn’t in the mood to allow anything for the visitors. Even the Aberavon catch and drive was being disrupted as James Murphy and Callum Bradbury competing the ball was stolen away on several occasions. And the forwards were involved in the attacking moves too. The two props, Peter Lloyd and Fraser Young did a lot of hard yards and Ethan Lewis – who had his own fan club in the ground – seemed to be everywhere.
Thompson extended Cardiff’s lead in the early part of the second half, but all the attacking endeavour didn’t seem to be going to pay off. Several times the Blue & Blacks came close, Fish and Smith worked an opportunity for Beal in the middle of the half, but g=he was bundled into touch just short. The third and final try came from a team effort that summed up how Cardiff had played al night. The ball had been worked downfield though hard carrying from Joe Miles and Luke Crocker and the entire backline before Aberavon got their hands on it and cleared to tough. From the lineout though Cardiff came again through the pick and drive Kieron Brown found the line at his mercy as he scored his second try in as many games.
The bonus pointy try though didn’t materialise but the Blue & Blacks had contained a very good attack orientated Wizards team and restricted them to one penalty. Next week the Blue & Blacks have another two tough games away at Bargoed on Friday and home live on S4C on Monday