Swansea

k.o. time: 7:30 pm

13 November, 1999

St Helens

Spectators: 4,000

Cardiff
referee
Clayton Thomas
4
/10
Another whistle happy performance from the man with no understanding of the tackle area. Failed to use his cards and did not prevent Cardiff being off side nor Swansea killing the ball on the floor. Can't referee rucks in such a way as the game flows to save his life.
weather
Dry
worth annoying the wife factor
7
/10
our man of the match
Martyn Williams
general comment

You still have to stand bloody miles away from the pitch - looking forward to the new stadium in Morfa

scorers
Robert Howley (1)
Simon Hill (1)
Gareth Thomas (1)
Neil Jenkins (2)
Neil Jenkins (4)
Neil Jenkins (1)
our choice for next week

vs Harlequins

k.o. time: 7:30 pm

19 November, 1999

Cardiff Arms Park

15
Mike Rayer
14
Liam Botham
13
Leigh Davies
12
Gareth Thomas
11
Simon Hill
10
Neil Jenkins
9
Robert Howley
8
Emyr Lewis
7
Martyn Williams
6
Dan Baugh
5
John Tait
4
Craig Quinnell
3
Spencer John
2
Jon Humphreys
1
Andrew Lewis

This should have been an easy victory for a Cardiff team below par against one of the worst Swansea performance in recent years with many of Cardiff's points coming straight from Swansea errors. The ease at which Cardiff amassed a 24-9 lead in first half allowed them to fall into their usual false sense of security and allow Swansea to force their way back into the game. Against better opposition they will be punished, and instead of doubling their half time score and driving home their advantage, they almost contrived to lose the game.

The Cardiff stars certainly made a bigger impact on the game than did the less effective Charvis and Gibbs, the latter a disgrace when he raises contract demands the following day. On that performance he's not worth a penny and neither are most of the Swansea team who seem to have been dragged down to the level of the Welsh League. The play of Arwel Thomas and Matthew Robinson bears testimony to the fall in standards in two seasons. Swansea did not strengthen their squad during the summer and they may just pay the price.

That Cardiff won in Swansea for the first time in four seasons should raise panic in the rest of the league. Many players performed no better than average and some of the teamwork was static, yet still they were easily the better team. When these players are more used to each other and have had time to gel they will murder some poor team - let's hope its the Turkish infidels!!!!

The major differences between this team and the rags this season was the level of professionalism. Not only did they cheat better than Swansea but the urgency in retreating in defence and the urgency to tackle was of a level not seen since Alex Evans' first spell (sorry Howley, but he's a good coach and you were crap during your first spell). The example of both centres and both flankers was exemplary. Each time Swansea had the ball they were tackled and only scored owing to a dodgy forward pass. The looks of disappointment on the faces of the Cardiff players said it all.

With ball in hand Cardiff looked dangerous, no more so than Leigh Davies who's back to his very best. After almost breaking free against Ebbw Vale he enjoyed having an international centre partner and totally outplayed arthritic Gibbs. His break and pass which led to Thomas' try was brilliant as were his angles of running and enthusiasm in defence. All Cardiff players were confident of keeping the ball at the breakdown which allowed them to try a few riskier moves. The two flankers supported their backs well, allowing them to show more adventure than in previous games.

It was a strange sight to see Jenkins, Quinnell and Williams in Cardiff shirts but an exciting experience.

15
Mike Rayer
5
/10
fairly competent without being conspicuous. Dropped a few bombs and kicked poorly for touch. The return from injury of Rhys Williams will threaten his position.
14
Liam Botham
7
/10
put the sh**ts up Robinson after the first tackle to totally outplay Swansea's only pacey player. A real expert at keeping possession for his team.
13
Leigh Davies
9
/10
a superb performance in which he totally outplayed the geriatric Gibbs. Superb tackling and angles of running he built upon his promising performance against Ebbw Vale and looked good with Gareth Thomas.
12
Gareth Thomas
9
/10
a lovely run for his try, he tackled superbly and kept Mark Taylor quiet - which is no mean feat.
11
Simon Hill
6
/10
kicked poorly and scored an easy try. Fairly solid in defence.
10
Neil Jenkins
7
/10
some missed penalties but he controlled the game well. Useful line kicking and excellent defensive tackling.
9
Robert Howley
6
/10
competent without shining, he wasn't missed when the excellent Ryan Powell was playing.
8
Emyr Lewis
6
/10
did the dirty work and close tackling of the excellent back row trio.
7
Martyn Williams
9
/10
showed just what Cardiff have been missing. Excellent tackling, ball recycling and general off side play, stopped Swansea progressing and ensured quick ball for Cardiff. The death of Ringer!!!!!!!!!!!
6
Dan Baugh
8
/10
Duck!!! Here comes the Canadian exocet. Hard yards gained with good ball carries, he enjoyed murdering Gibbs and Charvis with big tackles. Played very well in conjunction with Martyn Williams.
5
John Tait
7
/10
Also gave an unnecessary three point away. Pinched ball in the lineout and made conspicuous tackles, unlike Grandpa Voyle who couldn't take his own ball and missed conspicuous tackles when he came on at 50 minutes. Voyle also gave away three points within two minutes of coming on the pitch. Is this club orders VC?????
4
Craig Quinnell
6
/10
kept his discipline well in the face of the Paul "swinging arm" Moriarty he made many close tackles but did not carry the ball enough. Couldn't break Arwel Thomas' tackle. Still managed to give three points to Swansea by handling in a ruck.
3
Alan Yates
3
/10
Played like Cardiff's fourth choice tight head. General all round play and tackling is good, but totally lacking in experience in scrummaging at the higher levels.
2
Jon Humphreys
8
/10
made very many judo throw tackles to lie on the ball and slow down play. Another awesome tackle count from Captain Fantastic. How many times did we see Charvis smothered and dumped? How strange it was to see Garin Jenkins on the field but not throwing the ball in for Swansea! Obviously, Plumtree worked out something that Henry hasn't.
1
Andrew Lewis
6
/10
needs to carry the ball more he did well to hold up his side of the scrum.