If Swansea were looking to stamp their authority on the provincial debate raging throughout Wales tonight, they chose the wrong time to produce this limp performance on the field.
Cardiff travelled to St Helens on the back of a winless European season, but they were a class above a sad All Whites outfit in the 13-point victory.
The game was as good as over at the break, with Cardiff relishing the loose play to run in three unanswered tries for a 24-6 lead.
Namibian lock Heino Senekal scored in the fifth minute after some good work from centre Matt Allen, before scrum-half Richard Smith ran right through the middle of the Swansea defence in a try-scoring burst that typified the home side's woeful first-half performance.
On the half-hour mark, fly-half Iestyn Harris had Swansea's international fullback Kevin Morgan at sixes and sevens in defence before slipping the ball to winger Craig Morgan to score in the corner. Harris added nine points with a perfect display of goal-kicking, while opposite number Arwel Thomas converted two of his four shots at the posts.
Thomas brought the margin back to 15 points with a penalty goal in the opening minute of the second half, but a piece of Harris magic continued Cardiff's march to victory. Under pressure, he chipped a perfectly
weighted ball through for winger Nick Walne to score in the corner.
Cardiff prop Tim Payne continued his team's unbelievable run of yellow cards when he wiped
out Swansea's replacement scrum-half Sam Cordingley at a ruck, but his absence cost his side only a Thomas penalty goal.
Replacement fly-half Gavin Henson scored an 80th-minute try, but it was far too little, far too late for the All Whites.
The only bad news for the visitors was the loss of inspirational No 8 Dan Baugh in the 17th minute and his replacement Robin Sowden-Taylor in the 57th minute - both with suspected concussion.
Swansea: Try - G Henson; Pens - A Thomas 4; Con - G Henson.
Cardiff: Tries - H Senekal, R Smith, C Morgan, N Walne; Pens - I Harris 2; Cons - I Harris 3.
Swansea: K Morgan; J Vaughton, S Gibbs, M Taylor, S Payne; A Thomas (G Henson 77), R
Jones (S Cordingley 49); D Morris (capt), C Balshen (C Wells 65), B Evans (D Dorsey 61), A
Farley (J Slade 71), J Thomas, C Charvis,
D Thomas (R Jenkins 71), J Bater.
Cardiff: R Williams; N Walne, J Robinson, M Allen (N Robinson 68), C Morgan (A Sullivan
85); I Harris, R Smith (D Dewdney 79); J Yapp, P Rogers, T Payne, H Senekal, Adam Jones,
D McShane, M Williams (capt), D Baugh (R Sowden-Taylor 17) (L Tait 57-59, 64) (Alan Jones
Yellow cards: T Payne (Cardiff 52), K Morgan (Swansea 75), Adam Jones