Rugby Union: Sullivan faces a waiting game

Cardiff 14 Wasps 10
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The Independent Online
ANTHONY SULLIVAN must sit and wait, like the rest of Wales coach Graham Henry's national squad, to see if he has done enough to earn a place in the Wales team to face Scotland in the Five Nations' Championship at Murrayfield on 6 February.

Unfortunately, and despite the lack of quality international wings in Welsh rugby, it seems as though Sullivan, who completed his three-month loan deal at Cardiff on Saturday, will have to wait a little longer before realising his latest sporting dream.

There can be no question about Sullivan's raw talent or his rugby league pedigree, but a chest muscle injury before Christmas and a lack of opportunity since has prevented his immediate progression.

"I have enjoyed my time at Cardiff and I would like to come back at some time," he said. "I would also like to think that I would get another chance to play for Wales, possibly at A team level. But that is out of my hands. I will go home this week and wait to see if I am contacted by Graham [Henry]."

With right-wing incumbent Gareth Thomas unlikely to feature against Scotland, having withdrawn from this cheerless Anglo-Welsh encounter at the Arms Park because of a lack of match fitness, Sullivan's name was next on Henry's rather modest list of candidates.

Sadly, on this occasion, Sullivan did himself few favours, confirming he has some distance to travel before he is a realistic candidate for a place in the Wales team.

Sullivan was at least part of a Cardiff side which secured a 21st successive home victory. It was dreadful for the most part, but nine points from the boot of Lee Jarvis and a try from centre Leigh Davies made up for the defeat at Loftus Road earlier in the season.

A Josh Lewsey try and Gareth Rees conversion to a single penalty from Jarvis gave Wasps a 7-3 interval lead, but after Jarvis had cut the deficit to a single point, Davies was sent over by Rob Howley after Steve Moore had wrestled the ball free from Rees.

Rees kicked a penalty to keep the pot boiling, but Jarvis killed off any hopes of Wasps completing an unlikely double, with a drop goal on 78 minutes.

Cardiff: Try Davies; Penalties Jarvis (2); Drop goal Jarvis. Wasps; Try Lewsey; Conversion Rees; Penalty Rees.

Cardiff: C Morgan; L Botham, M Hall, L Davies, A Sullivan; L Jarvis, R Howley; A Lewis (S John 71min), J Humphreys (D Geraghty 71min), D Young (L Mustoe (41 min), S Moore, J Tait, S Williams, G Kacala, O Williams.

Wasps: J Lewsey; S Rosier, N Greenstock, F Waters, P Sampson (J Ufton 45mins, M Denney 66mins); G Rees, M Wood; D Molloy, D Alexpoulos (D Macer 60mins), W Green, M Weedon (capt), S Shaw, J Worsley, P Scrivener, P Volley.

Referee: D Price (Wales).

n Rob Smith was removed from the job of Wasps' first-team coach yesterday. Smith, coach for 14 years, will take charge of the academy and youth squads. The director of rugby, Nigel Melville, takes over first-team coaching.

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