Scarlets

17 April, 1999

Brewery Field

Cardiff
referee
Clayton Thomas
scorers
Craig Morgan (1)
Lee Jarvis (1)
Lee Jarvis (1)

Peter Thomas had better been at this shambles of a game before he makes the decision of whether to return to the corrupt and twisted world of the WRU. If this is the rubbish that will be served up next year, then be prepared to see the gates fall to Stradey levels.

The first half was a farce with Clayton "brown envelope" Thomas treating us to an exhibition of refereeing that made fearless Homer Fred's performances seem like that of a well-adjusted balanced individual.

We have all seen games with uncontested scrums before, but never those with uncontested rucks and mauls.

Two Cardiff players were sin-binned during the first half (Howley for trying to pick the ball from the player on the floor and Derwyn for trying to ruck the player holding the ball). Once one player returned, another was dispatched. Each time a Llanelli body hit the floor after a two or three yard trundle, the two or three players following him plunged onto his back forming a wall protecting the ball. Cardiff players tried to wrestle the ball from the player on the floor, tried to ruck him off it or to drive through the middle of the ruck and were either penalised or sent to the sin bin.

For the ten minutes or so that Cardiff played with a full compliment of players, they pushed the Llanelli pack around the pack and scored a try in the corner. Once the WRU-sponsored referee saw what was going on, he killed the game. The speed of the game dropped to walking pace and the penalties ballooned. We were treated to only 14 minutes of rugby in the first half - we had enjoyed 21-22 minutes against Allied Dunbar opponents. Not only corrupt Clayton ruined the game, his touch judges regularly raced onto the park to ensure another Cardiff player disappeared down the tunnel. And to cap it all, he even awarded the Scarlets a penalty try. Frankly, the players didn't know where to turn. What a set up!

With the massive flow of penalties continuing in the second half, and with Terrance forced to make changes to the pack, Cardiff were always chasing the game and they showed a total lack of spirit in the second half. They were blown away.

It is difficult not to feel some resentment towards the Turks in the west, what with the media liberally peppered with ex-Llanelli players with their arrogant posturing that Llanelli are quite clearly better than Cardiff and the supports on the terraces bleating away or throwing insults at all and sundry. But we left the game wishing that these two great clubs could have played a game devoid of the interference of the WRU and its cronies. Llanelli players can only play in the way the referee allows. We should have enjoyed not only a neutral ground but also meant neutral referee and touch judges.

Frankly speaking, if this is the drivel to be served up next season, then the fans will watch something else instead. We want flowing games refereed fairly at a decent stadium and on a pitch with grass on it. The whole day reeked of amateur corruption, with parochialism destroying all hope of the fast open rugby that Graham Henry and the whole of Wales wants to see.

Peter Thomas - save us from this! We don't want to watch any more debacles like Saturday's waste of time. We've said all along that this Cup was a waste of time and a set up, and so it proved. Judging from the voices of the Cardiff supports around us, we'd all rather watch Allied Dunbar opposition than WRU corruption. Sure we lost to Bath and Saracens away from home, but those games were fast and open with big hits and end-to-end entertainment. Our hosts offered an entertaining spectacle for which we were prepared to pay. Serve us more of the rubbish we had to watch on Saturday and watch your attendances fall!!

15
Mike Rayer
4
/10
fielded his kicks, never saw the ball
14
Craig Morgan
6
/10
bright and lively for his one pass and try, returned kicks well, tackling suspect
13
Gareth Thomas
2
/10
weak tackling ... looked bored - like most of the Cardiff supporters.
12
Leigh Davies
3
/10
more weak tackling .... tried a little harder that Thomas, but was almost as bored as us.
11
Simon Hill
3
/10
poor tackling.
10
Lee Jarvis
3
/10
kicked his penalty and conversion, but hardly got a pass.
9
Robert Howley
2
/10
anonymous, apart from being sent off.
8
Emyr Lewis
3
/10
some good smother tackles, holding the ball carrier off the floor, but lost interest in the second half
7
Dan Baugh
3
/10
left at half time, probably through boredom
6
Greg Kacala
3
/10
one or two charges, but barely in the game.
5
Derwyn Jones
2
/10
tried to ruck and got sent off.
4
John Tait
1
/10
anonymous.
3
Dai Young
1
/10
when you need a captain to keep the team motivated, he was to captaincy what trapist monks are to opera singing
2
Jon Humphreys
2
/10
got stuck in, but seemed unfit. Totally frustrated with the whole afternoon, just like us.
1
Spencer John
1
/10
was he playing?