Llanelli 19-23 Cardiff RFC
Cardiff came away from Llanelli with a hard fought win that keeps them very much in the title race, but Llanelli must be kicking themselves as they did more than enough to win this game.
Some poor game management in the latter stages cost them field position and replacement outside half Steffan Jones punished them with two late penalty strikes
A further blow for Llanelli was the loss of their club skipper Nathan Hart who left the field in the first half with an arm injury. Following his visit to hospital it was confirmed that he has broken his arm and will be sorely missed for the end of season run in. Of course everyone at Llanelli wishes him a speedy recovery.
The first half was played in blustery conditions and controlling the ball was difficult and the first ten minutes were spent sizing each other up. The first score of the game came after a series of penalties for Llanelli. Declan Smith missing his first attempt at goal into the wind. When a second penalty was awarded the kick to the corner was the option and it paid off as hooker Taylor Davies went over, Smith again wayward with the kick. The rest of the half was spent with the ball mainly on the floor or in the air as neither side could control the ball. Cardiff did get a score as Gareth Thompson became Cardiff’s second all time points scorer in the Premiership, but a yellow card meant the Blue & Blacks were forced to defend for the rest of the half.
The second half saw the weather deteriorate as the wind swirled around Parc-Y-Scarlets thought least the rain stopped for a while. Thompson added his second penalty to put Cardiff ahead, but the ball was like a bar of soap. Cardiff were starting to get the upper hand and when a lineout for Llanelli went astray Joey Tomlinson pounced on the ball. His pass to Morgan Allen was passed on to Ben Thomas, but he was held up over the line. Cardiff were not to be denied as from the scrum Morgan Allen crashed over to score.
Llanelli though were not going to lie down. Two penalties drew them level. Steffan Jones put the Blue & Blacks back in front only for Llanelli to go back in front through a Kalum Evans try. Jones added a further penalty, but a monster kick from half way by Morgan Williams gave Llanelli the lead again.
But with just a few minutes remaining the home couldn’t retain possession, were penalised in front of the posts and it that man Steffan Jones who made the home side pay the ultimate price. A bitter pill to swallow and a dent in their quest to remain in the Premiership.
Next Fridays game at Bedwas has now taken on a new meaning!