Cardiff 17 Llanelli 20

20/03/2017

Cardiff lost for the fourth time in four games in Tier 2 of the Principality Premiership as Llanelli won the day at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

In a poor game it was the Blue & Blacks that made the better start. Although not able to get their hands on the ball in the first few minutes the pressure being put on the Llanelli defence allowed them great field position. This was mainly thanks to three charge downs, tow from James Murphy and one from James Beal. That locked Llanelli in the twenty-two and when a forth kick was charged down the first try of the half was scored. Murphy was again at the centre of it, but this time instead of the ball going safe the charge down bounced into the in goal area and the big lock was able to drop on the ball. Gareth Thompson added the extras in a tricky wind. Thompson had earlier put Cardiff 3-0 ahead with a short range penalty but that was to be all the home side’s scoring in the first half.

Llanelli were on the board ten minutes later as Billy McByide slotted a penalty, but he was not able to convert the try Llanelli scored just before half time. A couple of missed tackles allowed Ashley Evans some space and when he drew the last man with his pass wing Ryan Davies was able to get over in the corner. That sent the Blue & Blacks into the changing room at half time with a two point advantage, but having had the wind in the first half that didn’t look enough.

And so it was to prove as Llanelli used the wind to gain territorial advantage. Cardiff tried to play their way out of defence but too many errors left them stranded in their own half and Llanelli took advantage. A sweeping move in the Cardiff twenty-two led to the second try. Hooker Craig Thomas finding himself on the wing and able to score near the corner flag. There then followed a period of play in which neither side could either control the ball or field position. Cardiff should have taken back the lead as they created an overlap, but the final pass was delivered behind Diggy Bird with the line at his mercy.

Llanelli they proved that accurate passing can reap rewards as a move that involved both backs and forwards and ended with Jack Condy scoring, McBryde added the extras and the game was over as a contest. Cardiff did get a losing bonus point after their only real sustained period of attack. Thompson gliding through a gap to score, Bird converted but that only left the Blue & Blacks with one point and bottom of the table.

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