Jenkins' exit lets in Cardiff
Monday 18 August 1997
Pontypridd's worst two nightmares rolled up into one as Cardiff became the first Welsh club to beat them at Sardis Road for more than three years.
The first disaster struck in the 30th minute when the home captain Neil Jenkins was forced to retire with a badly bitten tongue, a self-inflicted wound, and damaged ribs. X-rays later revealed the Lions star had popped a rib cartilage, ruling him out of Wales' international against Romania on 30 August and probably out of his club's Heineken Cup tie against Bath a week later.
As if that was not bad enough, the league champions fell to pieces in the second half without their guiding light and lost to the team they most hate losing to.
You had to go back to 3 September, 1994 for the last time Ponty had been beaten in a league or cup game at Sardis Road. Once again it was Cardiff who did the damage, 12-6, and they went on to win the title that season.
Having overcome the odds-on favourites for this season's crown away from home it looks as though the Arms Park outfit mean business again this winter.
Despite surrendering a try through a schoolboy error in the first half, Cardiff came on strong in the second half. They looked well prepared, physically and mentally, survived the pace better and, most importantly, never gave in.
The introduction of the former Brive flanker Gregori Kacala into the Cardiff pack made a huge difference to the side and he could become the catalyst for bigger and better things both domestically and in Europe.
The battle between Kacala and the Ponty No 8 Dale McIntosh was more than a mere sideshow. The battle lines were drawn even before the kick-off as the man who is used to mixing it with the toughest of teams in France fronted up the whole home side as they emerged from the tunnel. For the next 74 minutes, when McIntosh was replaced, the two players were like magnets to each other.
The opening gambits saw Lee Jarvis put Cardiff ahead with a fourth-minute penalty, but Jenkins hit back with two of his own. Jarvis levelled matters with another goal and then came the first major strike.
Kacala was penalised for holding onto the ball on the ground following the re-start and the entire Cardiff team retired to their posts expecting Jenkins to kick for goal. Instead he tapped the ball, ran 10 metres and sent Gareth Wyatt racing in for a sucker try which he also converted.
That try could have spelt the end for Cardiff, and in previous seasons it would have done, but this time they worked even harder to make amends.
A Jarvis try and conversion 11 minutes into the second half, launched from a Kacala line-out take on the home 22, levelled the scores once again at 16-16 and then, six minutes from time, Jarvis stepped up to slot the winning penalty from 30 metres out.
Scorers: Pontypridd: Try Wyatt; Conversion Jenkins; Penalites Jenkins 2, Wyatt. Cardiff: Try Jarvis; Conversion Jarvis; Penalties Jarvis 4.
Pontrypridd: K Morgan; D Manley, D James, S Lewis, G Wyatt; N Jenkins (capt, S Enoch, 30), Paul John; N Eynon (M Griffiths, 64), J Evans (Phil John 25-28, 40), A Metcalfe, G Prosser, M Rowley, M Spiller, D McIntosh (M Lloyd 74), M Williams.
Cardiff: M Silva; S Hill, L Davies, M Hall, N Walker; L Jarvis, S Wake; A Lewis, J Humphreys (capt, H Bevan, 6-15), D Young, A Rees, D Jones, E Lewis, G Kacala, G Jones (M Bennett, 64).
Referee: Peter Bolland (Newport)
Latest in Sport
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
John Stones appears to jump over ball as Everton concede goal against Barnsley
Club Brugge 0 Manchester United 4 player ratings: Wayne Rooney scores hat-trick, but who impressed in Champions League tie?
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Paul Scholes blasts 'out of order' Manchester United goalkeeper for missing start of the season
Javier Hernandez: Great night for Manchester United, terrible night for Chicharito
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 3 Toby Sheldon: Justin Bieber lookalike found dead in motel room
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Pregnant teenager Neysi Perez 'wakes up in coffin' a day after her funeral
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...