Cardiff

20 October, 1998

Cardiff Arms Park

Spectators: 12,000

Bath
referee
Alan Ware
scorers
Robert Howley (1)
Gareth Thomas (1)
Mike Rayer (1)
Lee Jarvis (3)
Lee Jarvis (1)

Why was Andy Robinson was so p****d off? Admittedly, this man has even less than one eye whilst watching Bath, but the referee simply penalised his players for jumping on the ball on the floor. Whoops! Maybe that's it! That's how Robinson made a living for so many years!! That man killed more ball than anyone in the game. Stop whinging and play to the whole rule book!

For those of us who witnessed a dreadful referee disallow Craig Morgan's try and award Dan Lyle's fumble at Bath last year, perhaps this was a case of AR getting what he deserved! Still, he even managed to whinge after last year's European Cup fiddle.

So while we are on the subject of Bath's winging, were we the only ones in the crowd that saw the hand gesture Umbungo gave to the referee? We're sure he wasn't offering him a selection of coffee beans so he deserved to be sent off. If we were the owners of Bath we'd personally fine him for his unprofessional behaviour. What a spoilt brat!

And we won too! Perhaps it wasn't the most flamboyant of games but this was true rugby. The tackling was fierce and the commitment was unbelievable - from both sides. Not bad for a "meaningless match" to be played in this manner in front of 12,000 people. That'll be more than Newport will manage as an aggregate this year. It's good to rot in hell.

And what about our commitment in defence! Try saving tackles from the Kacala, Steve Williams and Craig Morgan showed the spirit of determination that is such an improvement on the half-hearted displays of last year. It was a joy to watch this game, as it was a Cardiff team that went against the traditions of the club to be single minded and aim to win. Congratulations to the whole team.

Problems still remain, however. Ruck ball was slow as we did not clear out too well and did not protect our scrum half. The alignment of the backs was vintage Jarvis which resulted in no passes making their way to the wings. Once more we were treated to the full range of Jarvis' talents - his passing was poor, he made little use of the wind in the second half with only one kick from behind his dead ball line showing his potential and it is only a matter of time before his pathetic attempts at a "tackle" will result in a serious injury to him. TERRY HOLMES : show the man the video of the London Irish outside half. When we play Swansea, Gibbs will run straight through him unless something is done now. Ringo - show him the value of sometimes lying flat and sometimes lying deep - we need the variety to confuse defences.

Individual performances that caught the eye were Gareth Thomas' and Simon Hill's defence (especially when making up for Jarvis), Dan Baugh's big hits and useful ground work and Steve Williams showing his mobility at 5.

On the negative point : Mustoe is not fit and too slow. Get fit! Keith Stewart again did only the minimum and if Williams is to play in the second row then his scrummaging must improve. And brilliant player though he is - why didn't Howley pass to Craig Morgan after his brilliant break as this would have ended in a sure try.

As we've been consistently writing all season, Mr C Morgan is THE player in the Cardiff backs and needs a long run in the team to prove himself.

15
Mike Rayer
8
/10
faultless and cool under pressure
14
Craig Morgan
9
/10
fast and cool in defence
13
Mike Hall
5
/10
injured
12
Gareth Thomas
9
/10
very good, strong tackling
11
Simon Hill
8
/10
very courageous in the centre
10
Lee Jarvis
5
/10
underperformed
9
Robert Howley
9
/10
a pass away from perfection
8
Greg Kacala
8
/10
such strong all embracing tackles, will frighten the life out of the whole of Cilfynydd
7
Dan Baugh
9
/10
excellent, the find of the season
6
Owain Williams
6
/10
the reverse of 5
5
Steve Williams
6
/10
in the loose very good but needs improvement in the tight
4
Keith Stewart
5
/10
now working for Asda
3
Dai Young
8
/10
tackled well but inconspicuous leadership
2
Jon Humphreys
8
/10
big tackles and relished this sort of game
1
Spencer John
7
/10
very quiet, especially in the scrum