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

News
news
Sport
Danny Cipriani of England breaks clear to score his second try
rugby
Life and Style
New research says leaving your desk can help you to avoid serious illness
health
Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral