Cardiff move closer to first title

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The Independent Online
Llanelli 26 Cardiff 30

The Heineken League title is now in touching distance for Cardiff, even though they have six games still to play. It will take a minor miracle, or a major disaster, to stop them from scooping the top prize in Welsh rugby for the first time.

A first league win at Stradey Park, and a third successive win over Llanelli, ensured that Alex Evans's side successfully overcame their biggest remaining hurdle. After this triumph they can even begin to think in terms of a league and cup double.

Not that Evans, the cagey Australian coach who has transformed Cardiff from perennial under-achievers into one of the toughest teams in Wales, is prepared to talk trophies just yet. "If you start thinking about winning your trophies before you've actually won them then you are in trouble. We are in a good position, but we still have some tricky games to play," he said.

The toughest of Cardiff's six remaining matches is likely to be on Wednesday night when Treorchy are the visitors. Other than that, they have to face the five bottom teams in the table.

While Cardiff are keeping a tight rein on any premature celebrations, the Welsh selectors were at least able to crack open the champagne as Ieuan Evans, Nigel Davies and Emyr Lewis all emerged unscathed, and with tries, to virtually secure selection en masse against England.

Llanelli: Tries Proctor, Evans, N Davies, Lamerton; Conversions Stephens 3. Cardiff: Tries Moore, Walker, E Lewis; Penalties A Davies 4; Drop goal A Davies.

Llanelli: I Jones; I Evans, N Davies, N Boobyer, W Proctor; C Stephens, R Moon (capt); H Williams-Jones, R McBryde, S John, L Williams, A Copsey, C Quinnell, P Davies, A Lamerton.

Cardiff: C John; S Ford, G John, A Palfrey, N Walker; A Davies (capt), A Moore; A Lewis, J Humphreys, L Mustoe, S Roy, D Jones (J Wakeford, 7-12), M Bennett (V Davies, 79), E Lewis, O Williams.

Referee: T Rowlands (Treorchy).