Jenkins punishes Cardiff's sins
Pontypridd 12 Cardiff 10
Sunday 22 December 2002
Cardiff's yellow fever struck again as two more of their players headed for the sin-bin in their second defeat of the season at Pontypridd, and their sixth from their last seven games.
The omens were not auspicious before battle was joined, as there was no escaping the rain, or the politicking that is swamping Welsh rugby. "Bob Banker" provided an apt view from the terrace in the programme. "Being involved with Welsh rugby right now is about as much fun as having a red-hot kitchen utensil shoved right up your parson's nose,'' he wrote.
By the time Iestyn Harris started proceedings at Sardis Road he was kicking out of a pretty deep puddle. His kick went dead and Ponty had a scrum back on half-way. The scrum has been Cardiff's bête noire all season, as their front row has been liberally showered with yellow cards. On their last visit to Pontypridd Peter Rogers spent 10 minutes on the side and fellow prop Ken Fourie was sent off for punching as they lost 15-9.
It was business as usual in the first 10 minutes as back-row man Rob Appleyard joined the growing list of shame for a double dose of stupidity. His blow on opposite number Richard Parks at a scrum five metres out from the home line cost his side a great scoring opportunity, then the views he aired on the penalty to the referee, Nigel Owen, cost his side a player for the next 10 minutes.
By that stage, Neil Jenkins had already got the Ponty bandwagon rolling with a fifth-minute penalty, and he made his former team-mates pay with two more kicks to give Ponty a nine-point lead. Cardiff struck with a sliding try by full-back Rhys Williams, which Harris converted to leave the game well poised.
Ponty dominated in the second half, but could not get the try that their driving approach deserved, managing only a fourth Jenkins penalty on the hour. Cardiff's woes were compounded shortly afterwards when Rogers was sent to the sin-bin for a technical infringement at a ruck, picking up his side's 13th yellow card in as many competitive games this season.
But as conditions deteriorated they almost caused a shock. Had Fourie not ignored an unmarked player outside him, Cardiff would surely have bagged a second try. Instead, he went for glory and ended up inches short.
It mattered little that Harris cut the gap to two points because Ponty dominated the final few minutes to pick up a thoroughly deserved win.
Pontypridd: B Davey; G Wyatt, S Parker, J Bryant, E Lewis; N Jenkins, P John; G Jenkins, M Davies (capt), D Bell, B Cobain, R Sidoli, R Parks, W O'Conner, M Owen.
Cardiff: R Williams; A Sullivan, J Robinson, M Allen, C Morgan; I Harris, R Smith; P Rogers (T Payne, 78), L Collins, K Fourie, H Senekal, J Tait, R Appleyard (T Payne, 69-78), M Williams (capt), D Baugh (E Lewis, 55).
Referee: N Owens (Pontyberem).
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage