With 15 of the Welsh World Cup squad - 11 from Cardiff and four from Swansea - on display, this was an opportunity to make some judgement of Welsh prospects in South Africa. It was a grimly competitive contest for a place in the Welsh Cup final, and it must be said that the players never spared themselves in what was a desperately close match which was locked at 9-9 at full-time. On the evidence of the extraordinary commitment shown yesterday, one would back Wales to get into the quarter finals.
The game was notable for a terrific tussle between the two back rows who neither gave nor asked any quarter. Swansea also owed much to the tremendous line-out play of Paul Arnold, who saw off the international players, Derwyn Jones and Stuart Roy. It was also a triumph for the two pairs of half-backs who played superbly by kicking intelligently and varying their game. The outstanding loose forward was Stuart Davies of Swansea.
Swansea drew the first blood with a penalty for obstruction, as the game developed into an attritional forward battle of desperately hard rucking and fierce line-out play as both sides fought bitterly for forward supremacy.
A penalty against Derwyn Jones for use of the elbow at a line-out brought another penalty by Aled Williams, but in the last 10 minutes of the half Cardiff wiped out their arrears with two penalty goals by Adrian Davies and at half-time there was no inkling as to who would come out on top.
Early in the second half, Cardiff nosed into the lead with a drop goal by Adrian Davies, but this was again negated with a penalty goal by Aled Williams. The forward play continued to be a brave dogfight between two superbly motivated packs of forwards while behind the scrum not a tackle was missed. It now needed only a solitary mistake, but at full-time it was still a draw.
In the first 10-minute period of extra time, marvellous approach work by Aled Williams and David Weatherley created the winning try by Roddy Boobyer, converted by Aled Williams, and Cardiff were done for.
Cardiff: C John; S Ford, M Hall (capt), G John, S Hill; A Davies, A Moore; M Griffiths, J Humphreys, L Mustoe, S Roy, D Jones, M Bennett, E Lewis, H Taylor.
Swansea: A Clement (capt); A Harris, R Boobyer, D Weatherley, Simon Davies; A Williams, R Jones; C Loader, G Jenkins, K Colclough, P Arnold, A Moore, A Reynolds, Stuart Davies, R Appleyard.
Referee: D Davies (Llanbradach).Reuse content