Rugby Union: Cardiff find the greater motivation

Cardiff. .15

Llanelli. .8

IN AN extraordinarily lively and hectic but error-strewn Welsh Cup final, Llanelli and Cardiff restored belief and confidence to the game in Wales.

The defeat of Llanelli, who had 10 men who have played for Wales this season, including eight regulars in the Welsh team, begs the question whether Wales are in fact selecting their best side. The only defence or mitigating argument could be that their players were tired and unmotivated after a hard season.

Nevertheless, the enthusiasm and pace of the final reiterated that there is a considerable improvement in Welsh club rugby because a couple of seasons ago there was a barely a first-class team in Wales, but now there are five or six.

In the event, Cardiff won because they were a more motivated outfit and a more substantial team. Llanelli were looser but obviously swifter and more talented individually but, in composite, too frenetic to be effective and lacking the precision of Cardiff, both in attack and defence.

It was Cardiff who boasted the outstanding players of the afternoon in men such as Derwyn Jones, their 6ft 10in lock, who comprehensively won the line-outs, Andrew Moore, who had a more composed match than Rupert Moon, Mike Hall who was the best midfield player and Mike Rayer, who was magnificent at full-back.

The best Cardiff trait was a magnificent defence which denied Llanelli opportunities to show any quality or the pace of their international players.

Surprisingly, the much- vaunted Llanelli back row made little impact, their front row came under pressure all day and their half-backs gave them no measure of control or direction.

From the start Cardiff seemed to catch Llanelli cold and were ahead within three minutes. Hall's try came after Adrian Davies hoisted a high ball to the posts, where Neil Boobyer - pressed into service as full-back from centre and who never looked the part - was bundled off the ball by Hall, who was able to crash over and score. Davies converted.

Colin Stephens promptly replied with a cracking 45-

metre wide-angle penalty for jumping across at the line-out, and it was evident that a Llanelli problem was winning the line- out. Llanelli then got the turnover at a ruck and Scott Quinnell came off the back and drove. From the ruck Nigel Davies made a half-break and punted for the corner, where Nigel Walker fell on the ball but failed to secure it. It popped out to give Ieuan Evans as easy a try as he has ever scored, but then at least he was on the spot.

Cardiff regained the lead with a penalty from Davies from offside and then the Cardiff hooker Jonathan Humphreys played a big part in feeding Hall going down the narrow side and who, in

turn, fed Rayer coming into the line at speed, to score in the corner.

That was all the scoring and in the second half, although there were moments of high excitement as both teams came within a whisker of scoring, the game finished with Cardiff worthy winners. Moore, who outplayed Moon, the Welsh scrum-half, won the Man Of The Match award.

Cardiff: Tries Hall, Rayer; Conversion Davies; Penalty Davies. Llanelli: Try I Evans; Penalty Stephens.

Cardiff: M Rayer; S Ford, M Hall (capt), C Laity, N Walker; A Davies, A Moore; M Griffiths, J Humpheys, L Mustoe, A Rees, D Jones, M Bennett, O Williams, M Budd.

Llanelli: N Boobyer; I Evans, S Davies, N Davies, W Proctor; C Stephens, R H St J B Moon; R Evans, A Lamerton, H Williams- Jones, P Davies, A Copsey, E Lewis, S Quinnell, M Perego.

Referee: R Yeman (Port Talbot).

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all