PONTYPRIDD 18, CARDIFF 21
Pontypridd kicker Brett Davey went from hero to villain as Cardiff kept alive
their hopes of winning the Welsh/Scottish League with a nail-biting success at Sardis Road.
Tries from Nicky Robinson, within 45 seconds of the first whistle, and Anthony Sullivan in the second half, looked to be enough to send the Blue and Blacks home happy.
But Davey, who had already kicked six penalties from as many shots, could have denied them glory when he was handed a chance to snatch a draw in the fifth and final minute of injury time.
But instead of celebrating a magnificent seventh from 38 metres, Davey held his head in disbelief as the ball squirted wide of the right hand upright.
With the former Cardiff coach Lynn Howells back in charge at Pontypridd,
where he spent so many successful season before moving down the A470 to
the Arms Park, there was certainly some extra spice to the fixture.
And within a minute of the opening, the Blue and Blacks took the lead with a
wonderful try from Robinson.
Rob Howley, looking fresh from two weeks away from international duty, carved an opening and after some slick passing in the backs, Robinson kicked ahead, followed up, picked up and dived in for a try which Iestyn Harris failed to convert.
Pontypridd's position was worsened when Harris kicked a penalty on seven minutes but Brett Davey eased the situation when he slotted a penalty two
minutes after that.
The same player, such a prolific kicker, added his second on 15 minutes to trim the deficit and Ponty took the lead for the first time in the game on 20 minutes when Pieter Muller was penalised for lying on top of the ball. Davey did the rest.
Davey's fourth penalty extended their slender advantage but Cardiff made
the perfect start to the second half when Harris kicked a penalty.
The visitors kept on attacking the Pontypridd back line and they finally
got their reward when Harris, in his own inimitable way, cut through with
so much ease that Anthony Sullivan was given a clean run to the line.
Harris converted from the touchline and the game was back on a knife-edge.
The introduction of former Wales captain Dai Young gave Cardiff fresh
impetus in the front row and when Pontypridd were caught holding on in the tackle, Harris had a chance to improve his side's lead.
He did just that from 40 metres and Cardiff, despite the efforts of Pontypridd, were good value for that slender lead.
Davey's sixth penalty put the game back in the melting and Pontypridd
knocked on the door for the remainer of the game. Parker and Jon Bryant
tried to knock holes in the Cardiff midfield but the visitors were having
none of it and managed to hold on, perhaps against the odds.
In the end, the visitors had just enough composure to hold on for what might turn out to be a crucial victory.
But Davey had that golden opportunity to make himself a Sardis Road hero
It was a cruel twist for Davey who had an impeccable game for the home side.
Scorers: Pontypridd: Pens: B Davey 6.
Cardiff: Tries: N Robinson, A Sullivan;
Con: I Harris; Pens: I Harris 3.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event