Cardiff 52-41 Llanelli
BY JAY BAYFORD
ENTERTAINMENT was the order of the day as Cardiff saw off Llanelli in a highly competitive encounter at Cardiff Arms Park.
The Blues and Blacks came from behind and touched down seven times in a remarkable game that saw Llanelli leave the capital with five tries to their name.
It was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it opening 10 minutes with Llanelli dominating from the beginning and they were rewarded inside three minutes when Ollie Reyland darted over the try line. Ashley Sutton was on target with the conversion.
Cardiff tried to respond immediately but Llanelli won possession back and caught the Blue and Blacks on the counter.
A kick forward looked harmless but a defensive mix-up handed Sutton the easiest try of his career, which he converted to hand Llanelli a dream start.
The high tempo continued as Cardiff got their first points of the afternoon through a Ben Thomas try. The centre chased his long kick and managed to pick up possession for an easy try.
Steffan Jones stepped up to fire over the conversion.
Sutton hit back for the Sospans with a penalty that struck the post before going through to cap off a remarkable opening.
It was always unlikely that the rest of the game would be as dramatic as the opening 10 minutes and so it seemed with both backlines tightening up.
But the points continued to flow with Sutton kicking a second penalty before hooker Kirby Myhill hauled Cardiff back into the game and Jones made no mistake with the conversion from the tee, which saw him reach 60 points for the season.
The try energised the hosts and after a sustained spell of pressure referee Mark Jones awarded them a penalty try, which gave Steve Law’s men the lead for the first time.
It was a more subdued start to the second half, compared to the first, but fans only had to wait five minutes for the next try.
A quick offload from lock Miles Normandale caught everyone out, except number eight Morgan Allen who was able to waltz through the static Llanelli backline and earn Cardiff a bonus point.
Cardiff started to run riot with and the pressure eventually told with full-back Ioan Davies extending their lead further.
The reliable Jones added both conversions.
Home skipper Luke Crocker was the next to add his name to the scoresheet and replacement Gareth Thompson notched his 500th point for Cardiff with the resulting conversion.
Llanelli rallied late on to try and salvage something and they managed to set-up a grandstand finish thanks to a penalty try and converted Chris Gorvett try.
Will Rees-Hole thought he had ended any hopes of a comeback with a superb interception try that was converted by Thompson but Josh Weeds kept the game alive with a try at the death, which was converted by Sutton.
However, Thompson ensured Cardiff took the victory as he fired the ball between the posts with the last kick of the game.
Cardiff: Tries: B Thomas, K Myhill, Pen Try, M Allen, I Jones, L Crocker, W Rees-Hole; Cons: S Jones (4), G Thompson (2); Pen: G Thompson.
Llanelli: Tries: O Reyland, A Sutton, Pen Try, C Gorvett, J Weeds; Cons: A Sutton (4); Pens: A Sutton (2).
Report courtesy of Mid Glam Press agency