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).

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor