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).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent