Neath 15 Cardiff 14

25/02/2012

Cardiff turned up on a bright sunny afternoon to provide the pre international entertainment at the Gnoll and left with a loosing bonus point.

The home side nearly got on the board first. A Cardiff attack broke down allowing Neath to use turnover ball. Nathan Brew made ground into the Cardiff twenty two before being dragged down. At the ruck Cardiff we penalised and when the home side went for touch a rumble over looked on. The Blue and Blacks defence though was solid and forced a turnover to clear the danger.

Most of the game was being played between the two twenty twos as both sides found it hard to put the telling pass in. The first chance of the game though fell to Cardiff after Neath had lost the ball. Cardiff were awarded a penalty for off side but Patchell pushed his attempt wide as he was with a second from wide out.

The visitors were reduced to fourteen shortly before the break as Matthew John was sent to the bin, Neath though were the ones forced to defend as the Blue & Blacks stepped up their game while a man short. But Neath did eventually take advantage when Jamie Davies was put over in the corner, Dai Langdon added the extras.

Cardiff did have a chance to level it just before the break after a clever kick by Patchell forced Neath to defend in their own twenty two. The line out went loose and into Cardiff hands and after a couple of drives at the line a gap opened up but the ball was dropped as the try beckoned.

Cardiff started the second half brightly and were rewarded when Patchell was on target with a short range penalty following a series of drives by the forwards. But straight from the kick off Neath extended their lead. A Cardiff throw in near their own line wasn’t gathered and Andrew Littlehales was able to pounce on the bouncing ball to score.

Patchell added a short range penalty for the visitors before added his third from 45 metres out. Neath though kept the pressure of the visitors line but two yellow cards meant Cardiff had the upper hand for ten minutes and Richard Smith came close before scoring himself after a break by Shaun Powell. But Cardiff hearts were broken when a late Neath penalty snatched away the win.

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