Bath

13 February, 1999

Recreation Ground

Cardiff
referee
Fred Howard
scorers
Lee Jarvis (1)
Mike Hall (1)
Liam Botham (2)
Lee Jarvis (3)
Lee Jarvis (2)

Well, he decided to ruin another game. The total decrepid incompetence of Fred Howard ruined our afternoon and gave the game to Bath on a platter. This is the second game where the hand of Fred has ruined any chance of a Cardiff victory whereby, just as he did at St Helens, he favoured the home team with some startling moments of blatant amateur refereeing. Undoubtably, he is a home team ref - just ask Northampton! On Saturday afternoon four Bath tries came from clear errors of judgement from the pensioner as his brain has clearly stopped functioning and the game sometimes deteriorated into a farce which it seemed was being controlled by Frankie Howard, rather than Fred Howard. Never step foot onto a pitch again - you are now too old!

The four tries donated by Frankie are as follows : the scrum from which Eric Peters scored had clearly turned about 285 degrees, let alone 90. The first of Adebayo's tries came from a clear tackle in the air on Morgan Williams from a Bath forward. How the bloody hell can you miss that from a kick off Frankie? What were you looking at? Did you see a tasty bit with a blue rinse in the crowd? And the third - a wonderful piece of obstruction from the comic as the Bath winger squeezed into the corner. It must be said however, that this was the closest he was to the play all afternoon. What about the scrum from which Gareth Cooper scored? Was it not clear that Tait had driven the player backwards, thus making it a Cardiff scrum? Incompetent.

A Bath fan (what a bunch of conceited fools - nobody likes them) noted at the end of the game that Frankie's performance made up for the "idiot" at the Arms Park. However, as he was refering to the "Nescafe, ref?" incident with Victor he was clearly out of his depth. No matter how much criticism Mr Ware received after that incident at least he was right to send off Ubogu whereas Frankie made numerous wrong decisions (against both sides) all season.

Enough of ranting about the "ref", the game was entertaining in itself. Although Cardiff were hammered for the first 25 minutes, they actually scored more points than Bath in the next 55. Imagine what might have happened if our coach had prepared his players for the game as well as Mr Robinson had. He is all to aware that his job is on the line so his players put in a sterling performance. What is the matter with our players? Are they unaware . . . . . . ?

During the first quarter Cardiff could not get the ball at all. When they were awarded a line out either Young would fluff the throw or when second phase was to be won Baugh and Williams were miles off the pace. This was a week to soon for Dan Baugh and he was wisely replaced at half time. The only player who came out with real credit was Leigh Davies in a first half where his colleagues were still on the bus it seemed. A moment of magic from Lee Jarvis brought the scores towards respectability at the end of a first half which is better best forgotten.

The second 40 minutes was a much better performance. The quick interpassing and excellent support play would have brought a smile to Graham Henry's face. This is the way in which rugby should be played, at pace with little contact and with all players being able to play in any position. All the tries scored by Cardiff in the second half came from good support play between backs and forwards, with no one enjoying this more than Liam Botham. Again, however, Leigh Davies worked hard - taking a lot of crash ball and always sprinting in to space to support the ball. If it is true that he is regularly pissed during the week then who cares if he plays like this? Keith Stewart, however, was seen with pint in hand at 11 o'clock Friday night in a pub on St Mary's Street and this clearly wasn't a good idea as he was someway off the pace when he made an appearance. This is not the professional way.

15
Mike Rayer
5
/10
somewhat off the pace in attack, he looks a little slow after the calf injury. Faultless in defence, however.
14
Simon Hill
6
/10
a good game, totally outplaying his winger when the ball was in hand. His biggest weakness is throwing the ball away in the tackle - a weakness shared with Gareth Thomas. Stop this Simon and you'll score higher!
13
Leigh Davies
9
/10
always eager to join in every move, a near faultless performance from the boozer.
12
Mike Hall
7
/10
big and strong AGAIN. Now knows his limitations and plays within himself. As a race horse he would enjoy the soft going, but is not too hot on the hard ground.
11
Liam Botham
8
/10
is developing the Ford sidestep. Needs to work on his pace of the mark and he will become a good asset.
10
Lee Jarvis
7
/10
a wonderful dummy for his try, but needed to take control of a few more situations rather than shipping the ball on. Seemed reluctant to kick to the corner sometimes.
9
Robert Howley
3
/10
was he playing? Clearly with his mind on the internationals he should have started (and remained) on the bench. Morgan Williams is a cracking player, one of the biggest scrum-halfs around. A huge improvement on Robert Jones.
8
Greg Kacala
6
/10
some big tackles and good runs, but Peters and Lyle had the better of that contest.
7
Dan Baugh
3
/10
see Howley but substitute "injury" for "internationals".
6
Owain Williams
7
/10
not a bad game on the whole, one of his better ones recently. Never drives a man back in the tackle, but what is he taking to keep going? Can I have some? Is he the father of Paul Williams?
5
John Tait
8
/10
excellent in the loose, he revelled in this game. Always corner flagging and making tackles. Needs to sharpen up his tight skills though, especially body angles at rucks and mauls.
4
Steve Moore
5
/10
surprisingly quiet, perhaps he needs a rest. Strangely not used much in the line out.
3
Lyndon Mustoe
7
/10
wobbled as always, but generally got stuck in. Didn't have his ear bitten either.
2
Paul Young
2
/10
crap throwing, crap tackling. Crap. Has Geraghty returned?
1
Spencer John
8
/10
Cardiff's best forward. Now runs for the space and not for contact. His linking play was excellent and on this form will push for a Welsh cap - but must play more on the tight head for that to happen.