What the Papers Say – Huw S Thomas reports
Cardiff were too powerful and too organised for a gutsy Llandovery side and ran out six tries to three winners in the fourth round Swalec Cup-tie at Church Bank.
Cardiff made their intention clear in the very first minute when prop and captain Andrew Lewis got the try that stunned the biggest crowd in Church Bank’s nine-year history. The lighter Llandovery side let in another three first-half tries to Irish international fly-half Paul Burke (2) and Welsh wing Simon Hill.
Aled Williams and Dan Stead hit back with tries which, with a Stuart Hancox conversion, got the Towy Valley club to 15-28 at half-time.
The second half started like the first – a line-out take by Canadian international John Tait, a drive and a try for No 8 Owain Williams – and with Burke in deadly kicking form Cardiff were 35-15 up.
But Llandovery stuck to their guns. Scrum-half Dan Williams probed well, centre Emrys Evans put in some huge tackles and all eight forwards slugged it out toe-to-toe with the bigger Cardiff eight. But with Owain Williams the pick of the Cardiff pack and Tait upping the pace, Cardiff eventually got their sixth try six minutes from the end when centre Leigh Davies broke over on the right.
The big crowd’s spirit was in no way dampened by a torrential downpour and there was a huge roar a minute from the end when a John Westgarth line-out take and a fine midfield break by Emrys Evans brought Llandovery’s third try, converted by Hancox. It deservedly brought respectability to their score.
Cardiff chief executive Gareth Davies had a twinkle in his eye when he praised Llandovery for playing well "away from home" – the game was originally scheduled for the Arms Park – but was the first to congratulate the wholehearted effort of the Drovers in an entertaining cup-tie.
Llandovery captain Mark Lewis commented: "As far as we are concerned, we gave them a good run for their money and acquitted ourselves well. The boys played well throughout the match, and I could not have asked for more from any of them. Our game plan was to get in their faces and play everything but, at the end of the day, Cardiff’s power and pace was too much for us to handle."
Cardiff scrumhalf Robert Jones said: "We were slightly disappointed with our performance, which could have been a lot more controlled, but on the whole it was a good game. The Drovers showed a great deal of commitment, and worked very hard in creating chances. It was not an easy game for them to play, but I think they can be proud of their performance."