Cardiff

k.o. time: 2:30 pm

11 March, 2000

Cardiff Arms Park

Spectators: 4,000

Caerphilly
referee
Hugh Watkins
6
/10
Seemed very willing to keep the game flowing, which added to the entertainment. This was especially noticeable every time a Caerphilly player was 'injured' - 5 incidents in the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately, he received no support from his touch judges on the offside play behind his back from Caerphilly.
weather
Very sunny
our man of the match
John Tait
scorers
Steve Moore (1)
Martyn Williams (1)
Steve Williams (1)
Craig Morgan (2)
Gareth Thomas (1)
Nick Walne (3)
Liam Botham (1)
Paul Burke (9)
Paul Burke (1)
our choice for next week

vs Dunvant

k.o. time: 2:30 pm

25 March, 2000

Cardiff Arms Park

15
Liam Botham
14
Craig Morgan
13
Gethin Rhys Williams
12
Matthew Wintle
11
Nick Walne
10
Paul Burke
9
Ryan Powell
8
Emyr Lewis
7
Dan Baugh
6
Owain Williams
5
John Tait
4
Craig Quinnell
3
Gary Powell
2
Jon Humphreys
1
Andrew Lewis

A pretty predictable outcome to a game that nevertheless entertained a comparativey large of around 4,000 allowed Cardiff to round up over 70 points against the league's worst team. The Superstars were all rested, bar Alfie who was made Captain for the day and proceeded to create an example for his younger players by receiving a yellow card.

Not that it really mattered as Cardiff had already scored two tries by then and Caerphilly were just about all tackled out. The initial line of defence was broken on both occasions by a darting run by Ryan Powell who linked up with supporting runners Moore and Steve Williams. Powell was a constant menace to the defence as his performance improves with each game. His pass is swift and his speed off the mark is frightening and will progress into a match winner. At the present it is his partnership with Burke that is eye catching as yet again (as opposed to the debacle against Newport) they combined to control a game and strangle the opposition into defensive errors. Their mix of play allowed space out wide on many occasions, with John Wayne the biggest beneficiary as he ran in three impressive tries. These were the three outstanding players in the back line who benefited from the exemplary work of Tait up front.

The tries scored by Cardiff were always sparked by a piece if skill by an individual - Powell created two, Wayne created his own. But the way that Cardiff knitted scraps of play together to form the pattern showed the huge gulf in class between two teams and two clubs that should never have been pitted against each other. In short - it was a waste of time.

Some might say that this is the perfect game in which to blood the youngsters into first team rugby. But the picture becomes false when they can benefit from the play of the seniors against a demoralised and already beaten team. Ryan Powell would have learned more in his games against Swansea and Newport than he ever would against Caerphilly - and the VC recognised this and substituted him just as he was losing concentration. Gary Powell might not have enjoyed his 10 minutes with Jason Leonard but it would have benefited him more than the faceless opponent yesterday. Jamie Robinson was able to make wonderful half breaks and yet throw the ball wildly - knowing that his back row would be there first. In short - mistakes were not punished and this is the way to learn.

This game did not benefit Cardiff and it could not have been a pleasure for Caerphilly to be so out of their depth.

15
Liam Botham
6
/10
With such a comfortable ride at full back he could have involved himself in attacking play a little more often.
14
Craig Morgan
6
/10
Must have been a little confused to be playing wearing a Blue & Black shirt but acquitted himself well and took his two tries with ease.
13
Jamie Robinson
6
/10
Is such a balanced runner with a keen eye for space, yet he showed a schoolboy pass every time he created room. Seems to have regressed this season.
12
Gareth Thomas
7
/10
Interestingly sin-binned, but was confident and seemed to enjoy his afternoon. He, too, passes like a schoolboy.
11
Nick Walne
9
/10
A fantastic performance from the cowboy, against a team genuinely frightened of tackling him. His 95m try was an absolute gem - a real winger's try with a show of the ball to confuse the defence. Praise must also go to Gareth Thomas for his support play.
10
Paul Burke
9
/10
A near perfect display from the Irishman. The way he mixes up play and varies his tactics! With raking kicks and mini-breaks, up and unders and excellent passes, he is a joy to watch. He was one goal kick away from the perfect score as his defence and attack were faultless. Hope to God that the Ginger idiot was watching from his cloud!
9
Ryan Powell
9
/10
Another who performed brilliantly. He was the one who noticed Caerfilthy's obvious off side play in midfield and stole behind the defence to create tries for Moore and Williams. His only problem is that his bullet pass sometimes does not encourage Burke to move forward - but his pace is phenomenal. Will Howley be missed?
8
Steve Williams
7
/10
Enjoyed the game like a stroll in the park. Took his try and linked play well without ever breaking into a sweat.
7
Martyn Williams
7
/10
Linked and jinked in attack, but still cannot tackle players behind the gain line.
6
Owain Williams
7
/10
Still has too much up his sleeve for teams like this. The basketball style is right up his street. Managed to concentrate on his performance this time as opposed to making his feelings known to the crowd.
5
John Tait
10
/10
Faultless, absolutely faultless. He stole line out ball, pinched ball from the tackle area, made big hits, popped up in the centre, his cover defence at speed is phenomenal - yet because he is not Welsh the VC will not pick him. Can anyone justify Vile's selection before Tait?
4
Steve Moore
6
/10
fairly quiet but for his try.
3
Gary Powell
6
/10
Energetic, yet unconvincing.
2
Damien Geraghty
7
/10
A fine performance of aggressive Kiwi rucking and tackling - destructive should be his first name. He seems to be much more confident when not having to throw the ball into the line-out.
1
Andrew Lewis
9
/10
A fantastic performance showing his all round ability. Not only did he act as hooker in the line-outs, but his tackling and speed to the breakdown were prominent throughout. Now needs only to add ball carries to his armour to earn the right to another cap.