Scarlets

k.o. time: 5:30 pm

24 February, 2001

Stradey Park

Spectators: 5,000

Cardiff
referee
Nigel Williams
6
/10
Failure to sort out collapsing scrums. Started the game very well by insisting that players stayed on their feet at the breakdown - don't dive on the tackled player! Sadly, he gave up after an hour - just like the Turkish supporters. For yet another game, two Cardiff players were penalised for talking back at the referee - Dan Baugh and Ryan Powell. Come on bois! Learn some discipline!
weather
Dry but cold
worth annoying the wife factor
10
/10
our man of the match
Dan Baugh
general comment

35/10 for the result

scorers
Gethin Rhys Williams (2)
Nick Walne (2)
Ryan Powell (1)
Craig Morgan (1)
Andrew Lewis (1)
Dan Baugh (1)
Martyn Williams (1)
Neil Jenkins (4)
Mike Rayer (3)
Neil Jenkins (1)
Neil Jenkins (1)
our choice for next week

vs Ebbw Vale

k.o. time: 7:30 pm

7 March, 2001

Eugene Cross Park

15
Owain Ashman
14
Nick Walne
13
Gareth Thomas
12
Pieter Muller
11
Craig Hudson
10
Mike Rayer
9
Ryan Powell
8
Greg Kacala
7
Dan Baugh
6
Wayne Fyvie
5
Mike Voyle
4
Steve Moore
3
Ken Fourie
2
Andrew Lewis
1
Peter Rogers

We saw a team lacking in commitment and determination - a bunch of individuals recruited from other clubs, just there for the money. They had no pride in the jersey and weren't interested in playing for each other. They let the town down, they let the fans down and the let themselves down. They played like mercenaries. AND THEY WERE PLAYING IN RED!!! This was Llanelli's heaviest defeat since they lost 81-3 to the All Blacks in 1997. We've died and gone to heaven.

Llanelli were ripped apart in a second half thrashing by a team with superior pace and ideas in the back four - Alfie, Nobody, Walne and Rhys. The way the home team internationals capitulated and joined their supporters by going home early cannot be good for Turkish rugby - let alone Welsh rugby. Many times we've crossed the Bospherous and come back defeated, but Sultan Jenkins has surely overstayed his usefulness. This was a battle of the duffer coaches and Jenkins proved more of a disaster than Howells.

The evening started on a high note- the announcement of the team. Baugh at six - now we had a chance! Sure enough, almost straight from the kick off, he flattened Madden and we won a turnover - seemingly our first since mid-December.

The scrums were a mess from start to finish as Nigel Williams failed to insist on Bambi pushing at a forty five degree angle. As the scrums skewed around, Emyr Lewis failed to take control of the situation - as usual. Having watched the Waikato captain take control of a retreating scrum earlier in the day, we were treated to some disappointing indecision from Emyr. Despite being fully aware of the nerves of the young and inexperienced scrum half, he failed to take more responsible for recycling bad ball. His fellow prop, Madden, charged well in the loose and put Emyr Lewis on his @rse.

Powell started extremely nervously with two knock ons gifting the ball to the opposition.

Robinson's poor passing continues to be a worrying part of his game, but with Alfie on form, there was always someone to break the tackle and make the yards.

Sadly, the running rugby that Llanelli became famous for seems to have disappeared. They started the evening with two tactics and two tactics only - Finau to charge hard into midfield and pop the ball behind Walne and in front of Rhys and wait for the errors. In the first half hour, they had some success with Rhys unsure, but then suddenly, following a piece of true brilliance from Nobody, Cardiff suddenly were inspired and found their confidence. The way to deal with poor kicks is to run the ball back at the opposition, and this Rhys did with gusto! Meanwhile, Llanelli peppered their game with unforced errors and spilled the ball in contact - obviously with an eye out for Crazy Dan! Quinnell, Wyatt and Madden were all guilty.

When Llanelli were on the attack, Quinnell opted for kicks at goal rather than driving lineouts with three lineout jumpers, the Welsh hooker and an opposition famed for leaking five yard tries (just ask Neath). Conversely, Humph decided to pump the ball into the corner and Martyn Williams elbowed Mark Jones out of the way to reach for the first try of the thrashing. This try came from a woeful piece of play from Scott Quinnell, giving a needless penalty away in the tackle area. Suddenly, there was a confidence that Cardiff could repel the Turkish infidel and work some space of their own.

Llanelli's movement of the ball was so slow with no one running from depth and as a result they more than often found themselves moving backwards against a fiercely disciplined Cardiff defence who were content to give the penalties away rather than the tries!

After only 20 minutes, Cardiff lost Andrew Lewis with a leg injury and the Permed Podgers took his place, and Tait came on for Craig Quinnell after 30 minutes - if ever there was an advertisement for the necessity of strength in depth, this was it.

Without doubt, the Cardiff backs have learned from the defeat against England, and now when faced with an opposition forward, their first inclination is to run hard with the ball in hand. Time after time during the game, good yards were gained by running into space past flailing props.

A telling moment just before half time, was when Crazy Dan was penalised for elbowing Madden following some stamping on Emyr Lewis. Dan talked back at the ref, and Scott Quinnell took a charge up the pitch. He spilled the ball in the tackle (now there's a surprise), Dan picked up the ball and charged forty yards up the pitch - no one was interested in tackling him.

Following the half time break, Dan tried his best to ignore a three man overlap but Cardiff still managed a try in the corner as Rhys Williams showed off his pace running around Madden (and that's a long way). Now Cardiff were ripping the Scarlets part - the Ottoman Empire crumbled in a hail of tries. Rhys Williams, Gareth Thomas, Nick Walne and the brilliant Craig Morgan tore the Llanelli defence to shreds with angled running and pace off the mark.

With Neil Boobyer (from the Owain Williams school of tackling and the JJH school of passing) and Finau now on the pitch, it was one up rugby from the home team. Mark Jones wasn't going to get a pass. McBryde tap danced on Jinx head and laid one on Rita. In front of his home fans, it was no surprise that Homer Williams let him stay on the pitch, but Gareth Jenkins soon had enough and brought on the excellent Marcus Thomas who at last started to take the ball at pace before contact.

And then came the try of the season, as Crazy Dan waltzed through some touchy feely type scared schoolboy tackling for a sixty yard jog to the line. Oh my word - what could have been this season! Why should one man make such a difference to a team full of internationals. It is an embarrassment.

With twenty minutes to go, and the locals streaming from the ground, the tries kept flowing from the visitors. Ryan Powell scored a wonderful try after some feeble tackling on Morgan from the woeful Garan Evans. Wyatt and Thomas kept working hard for the home team, but the Cardiff defence had too much commitment for them. As the game entered the final ten minutes, and Cardiff got bored with scoring, at last Mark Jones got a pass. Walne had tackled Proctor who fed the international the ball, but Walne got up and muldooned Jones into touch short of the line. It summed up the evening.

Despite a penalty count way in Llanelli's favour (19-6 with 10 minutes to go), the home team put in a performance which could see their season fall apart. With performances like this, they will struggle to reach the necessary top five place they need for Europe next season. With key players coming to the end of their contract, will Wyatt and Dafydd James chose to stay next season? Will Scott Quinnell be happy to stay with a club who cannot deliver him rugby at the top level?

Sadly, there is something seriously wrong with Welsh rugby when one of our top teams turns in a performance like that. As Henry refuses to pick players on form, we're in for some pain next weekend.

15
Gethin Rhys Williams
6
/10
Still dodgy under the high ball, but good to see him running back poor kicks - with those tries surely it's done his confidence good.
14
Nick Walne
8
/10
Unspectacular but effective - two tries for his efforts - and completely outsped Mark Jones - defence was excellent - came looking for more work than usual.
13
Jamie Robinson
5
/10
Passing still dodgy - did little but jump on Finau's shoulders.
12
Gareth Thomas
8
/10
Always broke the tackle and kept hold of possession - enjoyed dual with Dafydd James and thumping Mark Jones into touch. Didn't miss a trick all game - top class effort - on his game.
11
Craig Morgan
10
/10
Too much pace and ideas for just about all the other 29 players on the pitch. Shear class with ball in hand against two international wingers. Proving he can play against the best wingers in Wales, not just those playing for Rumney. Kicking was perfect, defence was strong, and made Mark Jones look like a Builth Wells amateur.
10
Neil Jenkins
6
/10
Drifted in and out of the game, but put in the effort when needed. Some dodgy touch kicks, but place kicking was excellent (as usual). Played for next week.
9
Ryan Powell
8
/10
Despite having brown, short trousers at the start of the game, confidence grew as the game went on. Loved the faster pace of the game (as opposed to the wallow in the mud against Bridgend). His service was good, and although the target of the pass was sometimes poorly chosen (stop passing to props who are standing still), he kept the game flowing.
8
Emyr Lewis
6
/10
Coasted through the game - did some good work in the tight.
7
Martyn Williams
6
/10
Did what he does well - recycle the ball and keep the game moving. Did badly what he does badly - tackle the big man running straight at him. Learn from Crazy Dan, Martyn - we can always improve!
6
Dan Baugh
9
/10
Give him a contract, now! Give him the captaincy, now! Give him all the Pies!
5
Mike Voyle
8
/10
Tackled well in the loose and leapt well in the lineout. Body angles were suspect in a driving position. Showed good judgment. His pace away from the breakdown area was good.
4
Craig Quinnell
5
/10
Did he play? Two ball carries and that was it. Injured.
3
Spencer John
7
/10
Couldn't handle Booth's 45 degree scrummaging angle, but drove well in the tight.
2
Jon Humphreys
7
/10
Tackled well in defence with Emyr Lewis. Had that mad look of panic in his eyes when throwing into the lineout, but only lost one throw in. Front row was a mess.
1
Andrew Lewis
6
/10
20 minutes of action before a leg injury saw him disappear. Had little opportunity to do much. Tackled well.