Cardiff's young guns impress

Cardiff 29 Glasgow Hawks 12
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The Independent Online

If Glasgow are to stand any chance of winning the Welsh/Scottish league title then these are the kind of games they must win. They arrived at the Arms Park to face a depleted and pretty demoralised Cardiff side and should have made the Welshmen pay.

That they failed to make the most of the circumstances, and a huge wind advantage in the first half, probably means they are going to have to rely on the Welsh sides' poor record on Scottish soil as their best chance of challenging for the title.

The Cardiff coach, Rudy Joubert, rested the majority of his Welsh squad members and told his players that, in the wake of their failure to reach the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time, it was time to wake-up and stand-up. It took a while for them to do so, yet by the end some of the young guns were firing and giving a glimmer of hope for the future. The half-back pairing of Ryan Powell and Nicky Robinson is one that could yet emerge as a promising pairing and the threat of Rhys Williams and Craig Morgan behind the scrum will always provide a sharp cutting edge in attack.

Williams showed his pace to bag the opening try just before half time and that score gave Cardiff the confidence boost they needed to take the game to Glasgow in the second half with the wind at their backs.

Confidence is the key to this Cardiff side. When they are on song, they can be irrepressible, but there have been only fleeting glimpses of them at their best this season. Winning was obviously important, but Joubert will have been more pleased with the determination and application shown by largely his second string side.

The wind-assisted second half revival at least gave the sparse home crowd something to shout about as Matt Allen, Gary Powell and Francois Mounier all crossed for tries. It was better than nothing, but better days for one of the world's most famous rugby clubs will have to come soon or the long knives that have already severed the past three coaches could be sharpened again.

As for Glasgow, the capitulation of their pack in the second half will be a worry to their coach Richie Dixon and he now has to find a way to marry up to a hectic league programme in the middle of the Six Nations competition. Don't bank on either of these sides winning the title.

Cardiff: Tries R Williams, M Allen, G Powell, F Mounier; Conversions N Robinson 3; Penalty N Robinson. Glasgow: Penalties G Kiddie 4.

Cardiff: R Williams; C Hudson, M Allen, P Muller (capt), C Morgan (A Henry, 75); N Robinson, R Powell; K Fourie, A Lewis (J Humphreys, 63), G Powell (D Young, 68), A Jones, J Tait (C Quinnell, 55), F Mounier (M Williams, 75), S Sititi, E Lewis.

Glasgow: G Metcalfe; J Steel, A Bulloch, A Henderson (J Stuart, 70), R Kerr (I McInroy, 22), G Kiddie, G Beveridge; D Hilton (L Harrison, 78), G Bulloch (capt, G Scott, 72), G McIlwham, S Griffiths, J White, R Reid (N Ross, 56), T McLaren, J Petrie.

Referee: DR Davies (Llanbradach).