Cardiff maintained the only 100% winning record in the Indigo Premiership but were given the toughest game of the season so far by an Aberavon side that will feel they should have come away with a victory.
In a game in which the defences were on top for nearly all the game scoring opportunities were few and far between. The early stags were spent by both sides looking to gain an advantage. Neither really gain one but Cardiff were first to set the scoreboard moving. It took until the 22nd minute but a line break by Sam Beard in his own half sent the Blue & Blacks on their way. The ball was moved wide where Dan Fish and Jason Harries combined to take Cardiff deep into Wizard territory. With Aberavon running out of defenders Cardiff moved the ball the other way where Max Llewellyn was on hand to finish the move. Gareth Thompson landed the conversion from wide out.
Aberavon then had their best period of the game and when Cardiff’s defence slipped up Johnny Phillips finished off a break to level the scores just before the half time whistle. The second half started with Cardiff having the slight upper hand. That early pressure led to a penalty that Thompson landed, although a few minutes later a second attempt went wide. Aberavon took control shortly after. A first yellow card for Cardiff put pressure on the defence but when a second was brandished shortly the Blue & Blacks were down to 13 men and had to defend for their lives. The scrambling defence nearly came through this tough period, but eventually the line was breached. A sweeping move from deep inside their own half saw the backs linking together at speed. Stef Andrews finished off the best attacking moment of the game. Crucially, the conversion went wide.
Cardiff now threw everything at the visitors but a period of sustained attacking didn’t manage to break the Wizards line. In fact the visitors had a chance to extend the lead, but the penalty attempt was short. The Blue & Blacks worked their way back down field and eventually the pressure they were putting on Aberavon yielded a difficult penalty attempt that Joe Scrivens landed with a superb kick. That saw Cardiff one point ahead and that was the way it was to finished as the home side pinned Aberavon in their own half for the final few minutes. The lead at the top of the table was extended to twelve points but the Blue & Blacks will be relieved to have come through with the win.
Post Match Interviews.