Rugby Union: Demolition man Jarvis

Cardiff 26 Bourgoin 6

A pretty dreary day at the bomb-site. As heavy machinery could be heard at our backs pulverising what is left of the old Arms Park into oblivion, rain drifted across the adjoining Cardiff ground like smog. But Cardiff adapted to the conditions far more adventurously than Bourgoin, who beat them by one point at home but don't seem to travel that well.

So Cardiff successfully defended their second place in Group D, making sure of their place in the quarter-final play-offs. With their ability to score points through Lee Jarvis, and their steady pragmatism in most situations, they could go much further.

Except as a matter of self-esteem, simple victory was never going to be the significant factor in this match. At least it wasn't going to upset the established order in the group. For Cardiff to unseat Harlequins as table leaders, not only would the Quins have to lose today against Munster, the minnows of the pool, but Cardiff would need to beat Bourgoin handsomely to transform their match points balance; a 20-point lead was not enough. Munster now need to win by 27 points today to give Cardiff a straight route to the quarters, which is not likely. By the same token, to displace Cardiff as runners-up, Bourgoin had to win by an improbable margin.

So it was all down to pride and passion which, in the current state of French-Welsh relations, can be translated as blood and guts. And the state of the ground and the ball dictated that the forwards would be shedding and straining most of them.

Even so Cardiff moved the ball wide early and with surprising abandon, although an attempted jink by Nigel Walker, in which his feet slipped from under him, and a couple of dropped passes which invited counter-attack, exposed the danger of it. Still, Cardiff were committed to broad attack, and at least the policy brought a kickable penalty for Jarvis after eight minutes.

This confirmed to Cardiff that they were on the right track, and after an even more reckless handling movement from their own half, they next put Justin Thomas over on the right for the first try. Jarvis converted from close to the touchline, and moments later landed a penalty from even further out to score his 100th Heineken point. With his oppo, Nigel Geany, crucially firing wide with two penalty attempts, Cardiff were 13 points ahead after half an hour. The margin was the same at half-time, after Geany had managed one penalty from close quarters in reply to Jarvis's third from 40 metres.

By now, however, a little iron had entered into the soul of the game. The Irish referee, Leo Mayne, had spoken twice to the captains about acts of violence, and both the Cardiff captain and hooker, Jonathan Humphreys, and Robert Howley had gone off for attention, and in Howley's case for four stitches. Both returned after the interval, but it was getting a bit basic out there.

It was also getting more negative, another exchange of penalties between Geany and Jarvis having to fill the gap until the final moments when Gareth Jones went over on the blind side to give the excellent Jarvis his 16th point from the conversion.

Cardiff: B Ross; J Thomas, L Davies, Gareth Jones, N Walker; L Jarvis, R Howley; A Lewis (P Booth, 76), J Humphreys (capt), D Young (L Mustoe, 78), J Tait, D Jones (J Ring, 76), G Kacala, Gwyn Jones, S Williams (E Lewis, 62).

Bourgoin: D Janin (J Bohu, 54); L Leflammand, G Cassagne, S Glas, L Saunier; N Geany, N Guilhot; O Millou (D Morgan, 70), J-F Martin-Culet (J Frier, 73), P Peyron (L Gomez, 70), M Cecillion (H Dalde, 70; capt), F Nibelle, A Chazalet (F Grange, 73), M Malafosse, P Raschi.

Referee: L Mayne (Ireland).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
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

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

SEN Teaching Assistant needed for long term assignment

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain