Llanelli take cold comfort in emphatic semi-final win
Monday 21 April 2003
Not even a trip to a record 17th Principality Cup final will put Llanelli's season back on the straight and narrow. Two weeks after their Heineken Cup campaign came to a halt against Perpignan, the Welsh cup kings produced a performance that would surely have seen them through to a European semi-final.
Their six tries in a 44-10 hammering of Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium will at least give Leigh Davies one final appearance on 3 May, but it's not the one everyone wanted at Stradey Park.
Having accounted for the cup holders, Pontypridd, in the last round, Cardiff came into the game full of hope. It lasted seven minutes before Mark Jones skinned Rhys Williams and sent the full-back Barry Davies over for the first try.
From thereon it was virtually one-way traffic, with the Wales outside-half Stephen Jones dictating proceedings superbly for the Scarlets. Jones helped himself to 16 points, including a first-half try.
Facing Llanelli in the final will be Newport, who turned the tables on Bridgend in the first of the back-to-back semi-finals at the Millennium Stadium. Newport relied on the boot of the former Springbok Percy Montgomery to guide them to a 27-23 win.
Montgomery kicked a perfect nine out of nine penalties as the lead changed hands six times in a game that had the fans on the edge of their seat right to the end. Bridgend ran in the only tries through Craig Warlow and their captain, Gareth Thomas, but Montgomery's mighty boot steered the Black and Ambers through to the final.
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