Llanelli Scarlets 32 Cardiff Blues 13: Scarlets put brakes on the Lomu bandwagon

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The Independent Online

Jonah Lomu experienced defeat for the first time in almost three years as Cardiff Blues went down to Welsh rivals Llanelli Scarlets at Stradey Park.

Cardiff had won all four games since the former All Black's arrival at the Arms Park following his kidney transplant, but last night the wheels of the runaway Lomu bandwagon came flying off.

Not that the Scarlets will have been complaining after they had to delay the kick-off to get all of the bumper 9,300 crowd through the gates to see the big man, although he was largely a spectator himself.

Llanelli continue to blow hot and cold this season but Mark Jones scored another wonderful try as the Scarlets ran in five tries, thus picking up a bonus point that lifts them above Cardiff to fifth in the Celtic League.

Jones, whose solo try sent Wasps crashing out of Europe, left his opposite number Craig Morgan grasping air before racing to touch down his own kick over Rhys Williams in front of the on-looking Wales coach, Mike Ruddock.

Prop Martyn Madden, back in regional rugby after two years grazing at club level, set the Scarlets on their way when he crashed over inside two minutes after Cardiff had twice failed to clear the danger following a bungled kick-off.

Martyn Williams briefly gave Cardiff hope when he was shoved over early in the second half after Dafydd Jones had been yellow carded for his team's indiscipline.

But the Scarlets responded in style with two tries in three minutes. First Alix Popham slipped through to gift Regan King the easiest of finishes before livewire wing Jones again caught Cardiff napping, chasing Bowen's kick before handing Matthew Watkins a clear sprint to the line. Dwayne Peel grabbed their fifth at the death, making Llanelli clear victors.

Llanelli Scarlets: Tries Madden, M Jones, King, Watkins, Peel; Conversions Bowen 2; Penalty Bowen. Cardiff Blues: Try M Williams; Conversion Warren; Penalty Warren 2.

Llanelli Scarlets: L Byrne; D James, M Watkins, R King, M Jones; G Bowen, D Peel; M Madden (C Dunlea, 62), M Rees, J Davies, I Afeaki, C Wyatt (A Jones, 62), D Jones, A Popham, S Easterby (capt).

Cardiff Blues: R Williams (capt, T Davies, 70); C Morgan, J Robinson, M Stcherbina, J Lomu; N Robinson (R Warren, 31; W Evans, 73), R Powell; G Jenkins, R Thomas, M Jones (J Yapp, 70), C Quinnell, R Sidoli (D Jones, 57), A Powell (R Sowden- Taylor, 73), X Rush, M Williams.

Referee: N Owens.

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