Cardiff complete year of change

Newbridge 8

Cardiff 32

In three years under Alex Evans, Cardiff have turned from relegation candidates to Welsh champions, with last night's visit to the western valley of Gwent giving them the Heineken League title - barring a freak.

Pontypridd, who have dogged Cardiff all season, have conceded as much by choosing a shadow side for tomorrow's game against Llanelli in the knowledge that there is nothing much even their first choice can now do. Cardiff have one First Division fixture to play and Pontypridd two but Cardiff's advantage in tries, the determinant between teams who finish level, is 23 and that is a gap that cannot realistically be bridged.

It is hard to imagine that in 1991/92, the last pre-Evans season, they finished ninth of 10 and would have gone down if there had been relegation. Instead they stayed up because the Welsh Rugby Union expanded the First Division to 12 clubs and three years on, their Australian coaching director having worked so much magic that he has become Wales's World Cup coach, they are an adornment instead of an embarrassment.

Indeed their 79 tries are the highest scored by any of the 60 clubs in the Heineken League and last night they would have added more than two to that total but for the same persistent offside by Newbridge which had upset Swansea in the close-run Cup quarter-final here last Saturday.

Not that Cardiff were ever prevented from scoring, merely restricted. Newbridge attacked now and again but most of the first half was dominated by Cardiff and by half-time Adrian Davies had kicked five penalties to one by Phil Withers.

This was not quite an adequate insulation for the prospective champions against an unlikely defeat but the Championship was then more or less Cardiff's when they added a try to their penalties after 12 minutes of the second half.

A long-range attack consistent with their best this season culminated in Hemi Taylor, the Maori who plays for Wales, breaking clear from a maul for a try at the posts that Davies converted before landing his sixth penalty. Newbridge pulled back a late try when Gavin Pugh drove off a scrum - just the stimulus Cardiff evidently needed because there was enough time remaining for them to finish with the flourish of an injury-time try by Simon Hill.

Newbridge: Try Pugh; Penalty Withers. Cardiff: Tries Taylor, Hill; Conversions Davies (2); Penalties Davies (6).

Newbridge: W Taylor; S Hill, J Hawker, A Lucas (R Clarke 73), S Reed; P Withers, R Smith; R Buckley, N Meek, P Edwards, B Fisher, P Kawulok, M Lawford, G Pugh, P Crane (capt).

Cardiff: J Westwood; S Ford(C John, 53-59), M Hall (capt), G John, S Hill; A Davies, A Moore; M Griffiths, J Humphreys, P Sedgemore, S Roy, J Wakeford, H Taylor, O Williams, M Bennett.

Referee: A Rowlands (Treorchy).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?