Cardiff

k.o. time: 2:30 pm

25 March, 2000

Cardiff Arms Park

Dunvant
referee
Huw Lewis
weather
Dry and sunny with a blustery wind.
our man of the match
Paul Burke
general comment

Depends whether you like basketball and watching Christians thrown to the Lions etc

What a farce! Perhaps the selection was on the orders of Peter Thomas as he wanted to show the WRUin how far this Village League has descended into farce! Dunvant never gave up and they tackled the best they could but were beaten by a team who were far fitter and far faster. The haves and have nots - and I'm sure that no team took anything positive away from this game.

Tries were created by overlaps and speed, with flowing movements led by ball handling forwards, most noticeably Tait and Vile. Ball was recycled even though bodies were on the wrong side and no-one more than John Wayne enjoyed the overlaps created. With nine tries in a week he may have finally settled in at Cardiff - although the might of Caerphilly and Dunvant are hardly a true measure.

The Cardiff players seemed to thoroughly enjoy thumping the hapless visitors, as each try was celebrated as the team edged closer towards the magical 100-point mark. A professional first half performance where the pace never dropped allowed Cardiff a 57 point margin at the break. After each try they returned to their mark and quickly worked their way up the field. Tait was guilty of dropping a pass in open space and one or two other mistakes prevented the score passing the 70 mark. Indeed, had Wayne tried to get closer to the posts to make the conversion easier a further six points could have been added.

Yet the abiding memory of the first half was the pace of the player with ball in hand and the speed of his supporting players. Cardiff played numberless rugby with players turning up in funny places, which sometimes slowed the movement. Yet they were professional enough to return to the settled formation when things became too hurried. It was obvious that the focus of the performance was to score as many points as possible and not to become cocky as they had against Caerphilly.

Even once the many replacements had joined the fray the pace and skill was maintained. Robinson seemed to enjoy the space he created and he learnt from the previous week not to get carried away. Rhys Williams entered the line more often and the pace of this pair when added to John Wayne galloping up the touchline was way too much for Dunvant. Owain Williams is perfectly suited to this style and his linking skills allowed support runners to change angles and confuse the defence.

Simon Hill and others enjoyed their cameo and the farce was complete. We can only hope that this causes great embarrassment with Gethin and co - no wonder the Irish are disinterested!

15
Gethin Rhys Williams
8
/10
His pace was too much for Dunvant, both in attack and defence - where he constantly beat the first tackler.
14
Liam Botham
7
/10
Nobody cuts back inside better than Botham as he is the King of changing angles. Again his pace was lacking on a number of occasions but his ability to create space for himself and others is vital.
13
Leigh Davies
8
/10
seemed to enjoy his first outing for a while, constantly breaking the gain line and looking to offload to those around him. Still lacking real pace but look set to be a great rugby league player - especially as he would have to stop drinking!
12
Gareth Thomas
7
/10
Still too keen to give risky passes but such a silky runner he and Davies ripped Dunvant apart.
11
Nick Walne
9
/10
Yeeha!! Six tries for the Scunthorpe (no jokes, please) flyer. He looks good against Village opposition; let's hope he can reproduce this form against the Big Boys.
10
Paul Burke
9
/10
A faultless display; he is able to create space for those outside him, yet is willing to take responsibility when nothing else is on. Note his kicking for position in the second half when Dunvant were off side - he is in great form.
9
Robert Howley
8
/10
His best game for a while. Apart from a dodgy opening half hour when his back row gave him poor ball from second phase rucks, he looked a class act and even ran with the ball in hand.
8
Emyr Lewis
9
/10
A storming performance of ball carries and strong tackling, showing that he is back to his best. The 'Quins game cost him an international recall.
7
Martyn Williams
6
/10
Perhaps a little lazy in this game, choosing to play only in fits and bursts.
6
Dan Baugh
8
/10
Created two tries by playing at outside centre!! Foolishly removed by the VC in the Second Half when he was by far the best flanker on the pitch.
5
John Tait
9
/10
Fantastic!!!!!! Another taken off because he is Canadian.
4
Mike Voyle
8
/10
To be far to him (and no jokes here either, please) this was his best game, showing just how fit he is. Carried the ball well as he enjoyed the paper thin tackling of the opposition
3
Spencer John
7
/10
Showed his willing to carry the ball well, but needs to be more aggressive. Show this man a video of the Bradford Bulls and THAT is how you enter a tackle.
2
Jon Humphreys
8
/10
Kept up with the pace well until the last 10 minutes.
1
Andrew Henry
8
/10
At last he is carrying the ball!!!!