Davies comes to rescue of jaded Cardiff

Cardiff 16 Ebbw Vale 13
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The Independent Online
Jonathan Davies may have been back in the old routine, but the Cardiff supporting cast certainly weren't. This must have been one of the most jaded, and possibly worst performances by the Arms Park side this season. It took a try two minutes from time finally to secure victory for them.

It was a classic case of one side wanting to win and the other expecting to. Ebbw Vale did everything to secure what would have been a famous and deserved victory, yet Cardiff somehow got themselves out of jail.

That Gareth Jones try at the death could prove to be invaluable as Cardiff attempt to hang on to their Heineken League crown. So, too, could be the 11 points provided by the boot of Davies. Three penalties bisected the posts, two others struck an upright and he also landed a conversion.

That Davies was able to concentrate at all given the revelations about the illness which had struck his wife, Karen, was miraculous. However, he has dropped out of the Wales squad for the Hong Kong Sevens and he is also a likely non-starter for the summer tour to Australia.

There were few individual flashes of brilliance from anyone in this game, although the interception try by the Vale wing Ian Jefferies at least stimulated some form of reaction out of the crowd. That first-half try put the visitors well ahead and seemingly on course for a famous victory.

They could have done no more than they did. They were as magnificent in defeat as Cardiff were unconvincing in victory - it's a cruel game.

Cardiff: Try G Jones; Conversion J Davies; Penalties J Davies (3). Ebbw Vale: Try I Jefferies; Conversion B Hayward; Penalty B Hayward; Drop Goal B Hayward.

Cardiff: M Rayer, S Ford, M Hall, G Jones, S Hill, J Davies, A Moore, A Lewis, H Bevan, L Mustoe, K Stewart, D Jones, O Williams, H Taylor, V Davies (E Lewis, 77).

Ebbw Vale: D Worgan, I Jefferies, C Price, M Boys, N Morgan, B Hayward, D Llewellyn, A Phillips, S Jones, M Sibthorpe, E Moors, M Boycott, P Hudson, J Williams, K Jones.

Referee: H Lewis (Bridgend).