Rugby Union: Ford drives Cardiff home to keep hopes alive

Click to follow
Cardiff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Newbridge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

ANYTHING had to be an improvement on the quality of Cardiff's previous game, their midweek home defeat against Pontypridd, yet for long periods the Arms Park faithful were debating the considerable demerits of this game.

In the end, however, the home side managed to grind out a four-try victory yesterday that at least moved them back up into third place in the Heineken League First Division, even if it will have left the club's considerable coaching team with plenty to work on.

But these days league points are paramount and the fact Cardiff now sit on top of Llanelli, another club who have inexplicably lost their way this season, will no doubt bring some cheer to Cardiff supporters.

The title might still be within Cardiff's grasp, but for Newbridge it is a question of survival. They arrived in combative mood, and even took the lead with an Andrew Green penalty, yet they were well beaten.

A forgettable first half saw Adrian Davies reply to Green's 15th-minute penalty with two of his own to give Cardiff a slender advantage, but in truth they did not deserve it.

Newbridge were far more positive in the opening half and had what seemed a perfectly good try by the wing Glyn Harding disallowed. They were also unlucky to have a perfect pushover try situation denied them because the referee reckoned the scrum had moved through 90 degrees.

If they deserved better in the first half they could have no complaints about what happened in the second. The Cardiff pack got on top in an increasingly niggly encounter which saw Andrew Moore, the home scrum-half, depart to hospital after having his eye gouged in a tackle.

Four tries, two of them from Steve Ford, the former Wales wing, were the perfect response and at least the Cardiff coach, Alex Evans, can continue planning the chase for the title.

Cardiff: Tries Ford 2, Davies, Hall; Conversions Davies 2; Penalties Davies 3. Newbridge: Penalty A Green.

Cardiff: M Rayer; S Ford, C Laity, M Hall (capt), S Hill; A Davies, A Moore (R Howley, 46); A Lewis (K Matthews 43-46, 67), J Humphreys, P Sedgemore, T Rees, D Jones, C Mills, O Williams, M Bennett.

Newbridge: W Taylor; G Harding, R Brown, J Hawker, D Hooper; A Green, J Churcher; P Edwards, K Waters (M Wysocki, 77), M Thomas, A Collins (capt), A Sutton, A Gibbs, G Pugh, D Roberts (P Crane, 80).

Referee: D R Davies (Llanbradach).