Rugby Union: Stephens steals show

Cardiff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Llanelli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

COMETH the hour, cometh Llanelli. Whenever the pressure is turned up, the Scarlets switch on and their double act over the Heineken League leaders has thrown the title chase into the melting pot.

They became the first team to beat Cardiff at the Arms Park this season thanks to a strong instinct for survival and their greater opportunism. What all that added up to was a win that keeps them firmly in the hunt and means Cardiff no longer have a cushion at the top of the table.

It also exposed one of Cardiff's few remaining weaknesses, as highlighted by their Australian coach, Alex Evans. 'We have got to learn the discipline of winning, which once again got away from us. It's something that can, and will, be done but perhaps I'm expecting a bit too much too soon,' he said.

Cardiff certainly had enough chances to win, especially via the boot. Adrian Davies may be the leading, and record, points scorer in the league, but he would not have hit a barn door from two paces in this game. In all there were 18 various attempts on goal from conversions, penalties and drop goals from both teams. Only two hit the mark and Davies accounted for half of the failures.

Meanwhile, his opposite number, the much-maligned Colin Stephens, proved that his recent experiments with psychotherapy and acupuncture have done some good. Discarded by club and country last month, the outside- half had a game in which his pluses certainly outweighed his minuses.

There were two tries and one success out of eight kicks from Stephens, although he did concede Cardiff's first try when he allowed Mike Budd to charge down a clearance kick. There was also a rush of blood when he discarded a simple penalty shot and attempted to score a solo try.

One member of the 14,000 crowd who could have been excused for tearing his hair out over Llanelli's win was the Cardiff captain, Mike Hall, who missed the game because of a groin strain. He will have a scan on Tuesday, but still hopes to be fit to play for Wales in Scotland at the weekend.

Cardiff: Tries Budd, Thomas; Penalty Davies. Llanelli: Tries Stephens 2, Moon; Penalty Stephens.

Cardiff: M Rayer; S Ford, C Thomas, C Laity, N Walker; A Davies, A Moore; K Matthews, J Humphreys, P Sedgemore, P Kawulok, S Roy, H Stone, H Taylor (capt), M Budd.

Llanelli: I Jones; I Evans, S Davies, N Davies, W Proctor; C Stephens, R Moon (capt); R Evans, A Lamerton, D Joseph, P Davies, A Copsey, E Lewis, S Quinnell, L Jones.

Referee: D Bevan (Clydach).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Night job: Pacha nightclub DJ, Joan Ribas, is the new kingmaker on the island
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
tech
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada