Cardiff left red-faced by dashing Scarlets

Cardiff 10 Llanelli 44

Llanelli will be favoured to bring down the curtain on 31 years of the Welsh Cup in its present format with a record 12th win in the final against Newport in a fortnight. The second of the back-to-back semi-finals at the Millennium Stadium was in effect over by half-time, after a try by the Wales fly-half Stephen Jones, and one for each of the free-running back three, emphasised the Scarlets' superiority. Pushing effortlessly on from their interval lead of 27-5, Llanelli played like a team in their pomp, which makes the pain of their recent Heineken Cup exit against Perpignan all the more acute.

That defeat at Stradey Park nine days ago was largely put down to the early sending off of the Wales flanker, Dafydd Jones. Yesterday Llanelli stayed at the full complement throughout, and ran through their full repertoire of back-line moves, aided in no small part by some woeful work at the line-out by Cardiff.

Next season, with the five new regional teams up and running in Wales, this competition will be contested at its highest level by the 16 semi-professional clubs in the new Premier division. The all-singing, all-dancing regions, among them the full-time incarnations of Cardiff and Llanelli, will be otherwise occupied.

The quintet of head coaches, including David Young and Gareth Jenkins from Cardiff and Llanelli respectively, have already been appointed. In the next few days they and their colleagues – Lynn Howells (Pontypridd/Bridgend), Mike Ruddock (Newport/Ebbw Vale) and Lyn Jones (Neath/Swansea) – will present wish-lists of up to 26 players per squad for consideration by the powers-that-be.

So a vote of confidence or otherwise will be heading the way of those who yesterday mustered a crowd of around 17,000 at the Millennium. The role to be played by non-Wales qualified players such as Llanelli's Ireland internationals, Simon and Guy Easterby, is unclear.

Here they were highly influential against a Cardiff team missing six injured forwards. In addition, Peter Rogers, the former Wales loose-head prop, had better not wait by his letterbox for an offer of a contract as a hooker on this showing. He lost half a dozen throws in the first half – most of them gobbled up at the tail by Simon Easterby. As a result, the head-to-head at No 10 between Stephen Jones and Iestyn Harris never got started. The latter also missed three kicks at goal, prompting "what a waste of money" jibes from the Scarlets' supporters. Harris's undoubted quality, in the range of his passing and appreciation of space, is of limited value behind a back-pedalling pack.

Llanelli were rapidly into their stride and led 15-0 after 13 minutes. Stephen Jones potted the first penalty of his 19-point haul, then added his try to one by the full-back, Barry Davies. The first swept the width of the field, the other was made by Guy Easterby cutting through Cardiff's flimsy cover behind a line-out.

Pieter Muller got a try back for Cardiff, but Garan Evans, on his 250th appearance for Llanelli, and Mark Jones continued the largely one-way traffic. In the second half, two more backs, Leigh Davies and Matthew Watkins, got in on the act, and Rhys Williams's 70-metre touchline dash for Cardiff's second try in the 78th minute was no more than a tiny blot on the Scarlet-coloured landscape.

Cardiff: N Robinson (D Dewdney, 67); R Williams, J Robinson, P Muller, C Morgan; I Harris, R Powell (R Smith, 74); K Fourie (J Yapp, 59), P Rogers, B Evans, H Senekal, J Tait, R Sowden-Taylor (J Brownrigg, 67), E Lewis, M Williams (capt).

Llanelli: B Davies; G Evans, M Watkins, L Davies (capt), M Jones (S Finau, 52); S Jones (G Bowen, 74), G Easterby (M Phillips, 71); I Thomas, R McBryde (A Gravelle, 71), J Davies (M Madden, 66), V Cooper, C Wyatt (L Gross, 52), D Hodges, S Quinnell, S Easterby (I Boobyer, 74).

Referee: N Whitehouse (Gower).


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power