Cardiff’s injury ravaged squad came away empty handed from Sardis Rd but deserved so much more.
As if going to the 'house of pain' wasn’t a hard enough challenge for any team Cardiff had eight new faces on show against Pontypridd. The squad put on a terrific performance that deserved at least some reward. With virtually a whole team out injured the Blue & Blacks were very grateful to the clubs who permitted players to play for us - without the help Cardiff would not have fielded a side.
It got even harder for Cardiff after just seven minutes when Luke Ford was forced to leave the field. The squad stuck their task and the defence in the first quarter of the game was outstanding. Cardiff had started well and nearly crossed from a five-metre line out, the ball went loose though and Ponty were able to clear. The home side then had a period of sustained pressure that Cardiff soaked up and when Ian Jenkins stripped the ball and found Gareth Thompson the outside half was able to set off downfield. He was supported by Tom Daley who carried the move on to near the Ponty try line. A few pick and drives later the ball was released and it was those three who finished the move. Thompson found Jenkins who popped the ball out the side for Daley to cantered over.
Ponty were soon on level terms when a lineout near the Cardiff line was stopped the ball was moved wide to Lloyd Rowland who scored un-opposed. Cardif though should have gone in ahead at half time but a late ‘crowd call’ stopped Corey Howells after the big winger had got the ball off the Ponty attack in his own twenty-two. Having made it to the try line at the other end he was called back for a Ponty penalty that was pushed wide of the posts to leave the sides tied at half time.
The second half saw Ponty take the lead for the first time when Jordan Rees landed a penalty, only for Thompson to cancel that out a few minutes later. Cardiff then had a period when they took control of the game but with the defences on top they could not find their way through. When Ponty did get their hands on the ball they hammered it downfield where Geraint Walsh was able to pick it up and score. Rees added the extras and he was the one to take away a loosing bonus point when with a few minutes left he slotted over a short range penalty. That was cruel blow for a Cardiff side that had given everything.