Cardiff 74 – Neath 7

Cardiff gained a bonus point win over a Neath side that did not give up for the full eighty minutes

Already relegated, the Welsh All Blacks hustled and harried the Blue & Blacks all game. In fact, they were first to score wing James Roberts crossing for a try Jordan Rees converted. But that was to be their only reward. Within two minutes the Blue & Blacks were level, Mathew Powell cutting a great line for a try that Gareth Thompson converted. The second try went to another winger, Morgan Griffiths somehow managing to stay on his feet despite several tacklers to power over.

For Neath full back Edd Howlet got the third as Cardiff started to exert huge pressure on the visitors, Howley being put in the clear by Joe Gatt. And it was the centre himself who scored the bonus point try after 35 minutes. Cardiff had several rucks near the line and when the ball came out Neath simple ran out of defenders and good hand sent Gatt in. Thompson converted all three. Just before the break the forwards got in on the act as a catch and drive ended with Ian Jenkins crashing over to send the Blue & Blacks in 33-7 up.

The second half was very much one-way traffic. Morgan Griffiths got his second after interplay between Steffan Jones and Howley. That allowed Griffiths space to score. Howley got his second as he showed great pace to get away for the defence. Llwyarch Ap Myrddin was put over by Jones for the Cardiff’s eighth try. Aled Cockwell drove over from the base of a scrum for the first of his two tries shortly after.

With ten minutes left in the game Will Rees-Hole was introduced and earn his 100th Cap for the Club. Neath kept defending and stopped Cardiff on several occasions. They started to get some confidence and had a bit of possession, but a stray pas on halfway was picked off by James Murphy who galloped over. All that wads left was for Cockwell to round off a move that went from one end of the filed to the other and through nearly all the Cardiff team’s hand. The former Neath backrow the beneficiary. That saw Cardiff stay second in the table and close the gap at the top by five points.

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3