Cardiff crowned Principality Premiership champions
28 April 2009 21:00pm
By Graeme Gillespie
The Cardiff squad celebrate winning the Premiership title at the Arms Park.
Cardiff had to overturn a halftime deficit before subduing a stubborn Pontypridd side before being able to claim the Principality Premiership crown with a hard earned 27-22 victory at the Arms Park.
It looked like Cardiff's anticipated Premiership celebrations were going to be put on hold at the break with the Valley Commandoes fully deserving of their 17-7 advantage but the home side showed in the second half just why they are newly crowned champions.
Second half tries by Adam Powell and Chris Czekaj plus 10 points via the boot of outside half Gareth Davies were enough to see Cardiff secure their first title for nine years.
Ponty proved stern opposition for the home side and were eager to improve on their disappointing defeat to Bedwas last Saturday.
The Valley Commandoes were good value for their lead at halftime. Left wing Chris Clayton finished off two tries, the first from a well executed move and the second from an intercept. Full-back Kristian Baller converted both tries.
In between Ponty's touchdowns Cardiff's scrum half Andy Williams showed a clean pair of heals when he broke free from a ruck and sped down the blindside to score a well taken individual try. Gareth Davies chipped over the conversion but the visitors had the last say in the first spell when Baller put a penalty through the posts.
Cardiff reduced the arrears to just three points when No8 Adam Powell scored a converted try however just as it seemed the home side were getting back into the game, Ponty edged further ahead with a try to hard working flanker Rhys Lloyd to give the visitors a shock 22-14 lead.
Davies chipped away at the lead with a penalty before Welsh international winger Chris Czekaj crossed the whitewash. Davies's conversion put Cardiff in front for the first time of the match and he sealed a famous comeback victory with a well struck penalty to send the champagne corks popping.
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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.
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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