Pontypridd 28 Cardiff 19

Cardiff’s title ambitions took a dent at Sardis Rd in front of the BBC cameras. It had started well for the Blue & Blacks, within a few minutes they had the first try, and Ponty down to 14 men. A kick through had given the visitors great field position. The defensive lineout was lost and Cardiff exploited it. Gareth Thompson sent Max Llewellyn through a hole, and although he was pulled down short when the ball was recycled Pontypridd were off side and prevented a certain try.

And it could have got even better for Cardiff. Max Llewellyn charging down a clearance kick but they were unable to capitalise on the surprise position. They did though get reward. Quick ruck ball was moved wide and through the three-quarters hands to Edd Howley. His kick through was perfectly weighted and James Beal was the quicker to the ball to score on his return from injury.

But Cardiff were giving away a lot of penalties giving Ponty field position and when Cardiff were reduced to fourteen the home side took advantage. A scrum in the Cardiff twenty-two was worked into mid-field. When the Cardiff defence came up Ben Thomas was harshly adjudged to have knocked the ball on and concede a penalty try for a half time score of 12-7 to the Blue & Blacks.

The second half belonged to Ponty especially with the visitors being down to thirteen. And when they ran from their own half the used the extra men to get Dale Stuckey free on the outside. He stabbed the ball through and Blacker was on hand to pick it up and score. And from another penalty Ponty went for the corner and extended their lead when Rob Jones crashed over. The bonus point try can a few minutes later when Dale Stuckey intercepted a Cardiff pass to score in the corner.

Cardiff tried hard to get back into the game but it wasn’t until eight minutes from the end that they got their third. A five metre scrum was picked up from the base by Aled Cockwell. The No8 powering over. But that was to be enough. The last play of the game saw Ian Jenkins held up over the line and Cardiff leave Saris empty handed.

Viv Jones

Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19