Robinson's late show has Bridgend seething

Bridgend 25 Cardiff 25
Click to follow
The Independent Online

If the Bryncoch referee Nigel Williams gets a new watch for Christmas, the likelihood is that it will not have been sent to him by Bridgend. After seeing Cardiff come back with two injury-time tries the home fans were seething that the blue and blacks had been given almost seven minutes to save face at the end of the game.

By the reckoning of the Bridgend coach, Dennis John, there should have been just less than five minutes of stoppage time. No wonder he asked for a few minutes to collect his thoughts before meeting the press.

You would not have found many people disagreeing with his view that Cardiff had got away with floodlit robbery, although quite how David Young's side managed to dominate so much possession and territory and not win the game was equally baffling for their coaches and fans.

Tries from the young guns, Rhys Williams and Jamie Robinson with his second of the match, broke the Bridgend hearts as they added a huge twist in the tail of one of the more entertaining games of the season.

But, while Iestyn Harris' conversion of Robinson's late, late try meant the honours were shared, the real winner was the Wales coach, Graham Henry. Much in need of a Christmas boost he saw Dafydd James and Martyn Williams make their returns from injury, Anthony Sullivan get back into action and Craig Morgan get another game under his belt as he pursues the Welsh No 15 jersey in the Six Nations.

But even more significant was the re-emergence of Peter Rogers in good shape and tip-top form at loose head prop and Craig Quinnell's rampaging performance. In the good old days, when Henry's Welsh side won a record-equalling 10 games in a row, Rogers and Quinnell were at the heart of the pack and a few more showings like this could see them come tearing back into contention in the new year.

James was at the heart of the best try of the match, created by Josh Taumalolo and scored by Jamie Ringer, but he then left the fray at half time having suffered whiplash in a mighty collision with Morgan. That try hoisted Bridgend into a 15-3 lead in the first half, but not even a scrambled interception try by John Devereux could put the Ravens clear.

Back came Cardiff and those two late tries made it a palletable Christmas for them.

Bridgend: Tries: R Bryan, J Ringer, J Devereux; Conversions: C Warlow 2; Penalties: C Warlow 2. Cardiff: Tries: J Robinson 2, R Williams; Conversions: I Harris 2; Penalties: I Harris 2.

Bridgend: S Taumalolo; Daniel Jones, D James (J Devereux, 41), G Thomas, A Havili; C Warlow, H Harries (capt, J Hewlett, 61); C Loader, G Williams, J Thiel (C Noon, 60), P Clapham, Deiniol Jones, R Bryan (M Molitika, 72), J Ringer (S van Rensburg 79), N Budgett.

Cardiff: C Morgan; C Hudson (R Williams, 55), J Robinson, M Allen, A Sullivan; I Harris, R Howley; P Rogers (K Fourie, 60), A Lewis (J Humphreys, 53), D Young (capt), C Quinnell, J Tait, F Mounier (M Williams, 68), R Appleyard, E Lewis.

Referee: N Williams (Bryncoch).