Cardiff crowned in defeat
Sunday 30 April 1995
CARDIFF, by losing to Swansea in the Cup semi-final a week ago and yesterday going down to Newport, their greatest rivals, in this ultimate league match, may have ended on a low note, but they can look back with some pride on a season where they have not only set the pace to win the first division of the Heineken League for the first time, but have also won it handsomely by scoring 81 tries.
The club members would surely have preferred that Cardiff had fielded their top team, in order to win the title and to climax the season in some style. But Alex Evans, their Australian guru who has taken them from rags to riches in three years, is nothing if not a pragmatist, and he rested 10 of the 11 Cardiff players in the Welsh World Cup squad which he also coaches.
Consequently Cardiff struggled as Newport, obviously mad keen to win this great local derby, spoilt the party with Kevin Moseley helping to wipe out Cardiff at the line-outs and their forwards bustling the over- anxious young Cardiff pups into making error after error.
Newport began purposefully as sustained pressure brought them two penalty goals in the first 10 minutes. But midway through the half Steve Ford, the only World Cup player selected (though Mike Hall came on as a late substitute), restored Cardiff's credibility with his 39th try of the season, only one short of Ieuan Evan's Heineken League record and two short of Bleddyn Williams's 47-year-old Cardiff record for a season.
Newport, however, struck back instantly when a good bounce from a kick ahead brought a try by winger Richard Rees, converted by Martin Jones, who also kicked a penalty to give Newport a half-time lead of 16-7.
After the interval, Cardiff pulled themselves together with the old hands, particularly Owen Williams and Mike Budd, leading the way.
Two penalty goals by Chris John for ruck infringements steadied their nerves, but another penalty for Jones put Cardiff again on to the back foot.
Cardiff began desperate long-range running attacks and in a tempestuous finish, Mike Budd scored what seemed the winning try, but Newport's Richard Rees crossed the try-line with a minute to go and Cardiff were undone.
Cardiff: C John; S Ford, C Laity, G John, J Westwood; S Davies, A Booth; A Lewis, H Bevan (capt), P Sedgemore, J Wakeford, H Stone, V Davies, O Williams, M Budd.
Newport: Martin Jones; I Jeffreys, D Hughes; M Llewellyn, R Rees; D Rees, M Roderick; S Duggan, A Peacock, S Cronk, N Jones, K Moseley, B Atkins, A Carter, R Goodey (capt).
Referee: A Ware (WRU) Pontypridd
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie: Manchester United may have more joy if striker is dropped by David Moyes
Tim Sherwood rules out being No 2 at Tottenham, saying the 'silence is deafening' over his own future
England 29 Wales 18 match report: Stuart Lancaster's men enjoy their day in the sun at expense of weary Wales
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
FA Cup semi-finals: Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal for Arsenal against Wigan
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
£3360 - £16800 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Cover Supervisor requ...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Male and Female PE te...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...