Nathan Edwards runs in Llanelli's fifth try at Cardiff
Llanelli took all five points despite Cardiff's 24-point second-half comeback at a very wet BT Sport Arms Park as they ran out 40-32 victors in the Principality Premiership.
The visitors made up for the loss of the Scarlets the night before as they scored three tries in the opening 30 minutes to make the most of some loose passes by Cardiff backs. Jordan Williams crossed first before ex-Cardiff Blues and Wales wing Harry Robinson got a second.
When Robinson went off, his replacement Shaun Pearce quickly followed suit to run in the third try and Williams converted all three. Ex-Scarlet Johnathan Edwards replied with the first of his side's four tries, but the visitors were 32-8 ahead by the break.
Ryan Davies claimed the bonus point just before half-time and with a 24 point lead Llanelli were guilty of going resting on their laurels. Their only second half points came through a Nathan Edwards touchdown five minutes after the re-start that opened up the gap to 32 points.
Cardiff's strength was in their tight-five, Welsh international props Craig Mitchell and Scott Andrews both starting, and they brought on the experienced Gareth Davies at outside half. They picked up two penalty tries from driving line-outs and then got a third through James Murphy.
That enabled them to at least pick up two losing bonus-points, but it was still a sixth successive defeat in all competitions for the Blues & Blacks.
Llandovery went top of the Principality Premiership as they eased to a bonus-point victory over Bridgend at sodden Church Bank.
The west Wales club had done well to get the game on, and they were rewarded for their efforts as a brace of tries from Richard Brooks, plus further scores by hooker Tom Ball and wing Aaron Warren sealed the win. With the weather ensuring the likes of Pontypridd, Newport and Cross Keys were not in action, the hosts knew a 10th home win of the season would take them to the summit of the table.
But, in difficult conditions, there were few clear opportunities created by either side during an attritional first-half dominated by the two packs. It was no surprise the opening score should come from a forward, and number eight Brooks broke the deadlock as he surged over from a rolling maul on half-time.
Hooker Ball quickly added a second Llandovery try 11 minutes after the break as the Drovers back began to take control of the game. Outside half Jack Maynard added the extras and then slotted a penalty to extend the Llandovery lead to 16-0.
Bridgend could not find a response and the hosts then struck twice in the dying moments to claim a four-try bonus point. Firstly, Brooks again showed his predatory instincts when close to the try-line to claim his second of the afternoon, before wing Warren ran in Rhodri Williams cross-kick with the last play of the game, with James Davies adding both conversions.
Ebbw Vale wing Jarred Rosser crossed for a hat-trick of tries as his side defeated Neath 22-16 at The Gnoll.
The Steelmen' started the strongest and Rosser touched down for his first try following a sustained period of pressure. In a tight first half the Neath pack began to gain the ascendancy and Luke Price got them on the scoreboard with a 22nd minute penalty.
The home side then took the lead when powerful centre Kieran Williams crossed to make it 8-6 at half-time. Still seeking their first win in the Premiership this season, the home fans were hopeful of seeing something special.
But after being outmuscled in the first half, the second 40 saw the Ebbw Vale pack provide more attacking opportunities for their superior backline. Rosser waltzed over in the corner for his second try after 50 minutes, to complete a move which involved some deft touches from lock Rhys Clarke and No8 Luke Crocker, and outside half Dai Langdon added the extra two points to put Nigel Davies' side back in front, 14-8.
With the visitors' back division cutting the home side's defence to ribbons, Neath made the mistake of kicking down the throat of deadly full back Dan Haymond. Haymond was then the architect of a scintillating counter attack to put Rosser in for his hat-trick try, which Iain Smerdon converted.
The Welsh All Blacks would not go down without a fight, though, and scrum half Reuben Morgan-Williams crossed to gibve Neath some hope.
Aberavon stayed within touching distance of the Principality Premiership leading pack with a 32-22 triumph over Carmarthen Quins.
It took the Wizards half-an-hour to break the deadlock, but a brace of tries from flying wing Jay Baker and scores from Stefan Andrews and David Pritchard claimed a bonus-point triumph.
Hooker Rhodri Clancy led a West Walian revival, but his brace was not enough to lift the Quins from 10th position in the table. Both sides struggled to tame the blustery conditions at the Talbot Athletic Ground, but it was the hosts who landed the first blow through Andrews.
The speedster raced over, with James Garland on target with the conversion for an 8-0 lead after 28 minutes. Quins wing Gavin Thomas crashed over to put his side within two points, but that was as close as they got.
Not to be outdone by his wing colleague, Baker crashed over for his first score just before half-time to put the Wizards 16-6 up. He got his second eight minutes into the second period before scrum-half David Pritchard claimed the bonus-point.
Clancy grabbed his first score on 66 minutes before going over at the death, but it was not enough to stop Aberavon claiming another victory.
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Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
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