Llanelli reclaim the old magic

Llanelli 48 Cardiff 26
They may be on course to lose pounds 500,000 this season but Llanelli have still got a team who can play like a million dollars.

Less than a week after their players had agreed to take substantial cuts in pay, the Llanelli committee will have to pay out a handsome win bonus. They would not, though, have begrudged a penny of it after such a scintillating performance at Stradey Park last night.

Cardiff arrived as the cash-rich city slickers with a side featuring four former Scarlets, two of them bought during their summer spree. Money, though, cannot buy passion, and all of that belonged to the home side.

Cardiff were simply swept aside on a tide of emotion and five first-half tries. It was the stuff of which dreams are made as Llanelli were error- free for a full 40 minutes and profited to the tune of 31 points without reply.

Rupert Moon ended the first half with two tries and almost grabbed a third four minutes after the break when his pack drove the Cardiff scrum humiliatingly backwards over their line. As Moon pounced again, so referee Derek Bevan marched behind the posts to indicate a penalty try.

Frano Botica's conversion made it an unbelievable 38-0. Botica the boot kicked eight out of eight goals for a match tally of 18 points. Yet Cardiff's second-half rally of four tries at least stopped the Scarlets from taking any bonus points from this game.

Llanelli: Tries Moon 2, Morris, Proctor, Wintle, penalty try; Conversions Botica 6; Penalties Botica 2. Cardiff: Tries Jarvis 2, Howley, Ford; Conversions Jarvis 3.

Llanelli: W Proctor; G Evans, N Davies (S Jones, 46), N Boobyer, M Wintle; F Botica, R Moon; S John, R McBryde (capt; J Hyatt, 79), S Gale, V Cooper, M Voyle (S Ford, 40), A Gibbs, C Wyatt (H Jenkins, 63), P Morris.

Cardiff: J Thomas; S Ford, M Hall, L Davies, L Jarvis; J Davies, R Howley; P Booth, J Humphreys, D Young, J Wakeford (K Stewart, 63), D Jones, O Williams, H Taylor (capt), G Jones (M Bennett, 13).

Referee: W D Bevan (Clydach).