Lewis brings Cardiff down

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The Independent Online
Bridgend 32 Cardiff 19

The buzz off the field may have been all about Jonathan Davies' "Will he or won't he" rugby future. But on the field the buzz came from a side Davies will face if he links up with Cardiff.

Bridgend not only took the defending Heineken League champions' unbeaten record at the Brewery Field last night, they also took it comprehensively and with style.

But if Cardiff were disappointing, Bridgend were refreshing, superbly marshalled by their scrum-half and captain, Robert Howley, and his half- back partner Matthew Lewis. They made sure Bridgend were always the more positive side.

Stand-off Lewis stole the honours with 22 points, while the burly centre Gareth Thomas proved a handful. It was his try at the end that earned Bridgend a deserved bonus point as they leap-frogged over Cardiff up to fourth in the table.

Lewis not only put the boot in with his four penalty goals, conversion and a drop-goal, he also scored their opening try.

Thomas and Lewis were the creators for the second try, scored by Gwilym Wilkins, that left the champions a mountain to climb. They did give themselves a brief flicker of hope when the international flanker Mark Bennett found himself in the clear to stroll over unopposed, but Thomas snuffed that out with his late score.

Bridgend: Tries M Lewis, G Wilkins, G Thomas; Penalties M Lewis (4); Conversion M Lewis; Drop goal M Lewis. Cardiff: Try M Bennett; Penalties A Davies 4; Conversion A Davies.

Bridgend: C Bradshaw; G Wilkins, G Jones, G Thomas, P Jones; M Lewis, R Howley (capt); D Francis, A Jones (I Greenslade, 40), S Gale, G Rowlands, E Williams, N Jones, N Thomas, J Forster.

Cardiff: S Davies; S Ford, S John, S Hill, O Thomas; A Davies, A Booth; M Griffiths, H Bevan, L Mustoe, K Stewart, D Jones, M Bennett, H Taylor (capt) O Williams.

Referee: N Whitehouse (Swansea).

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