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

Viv Jones

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