Cardiff crowned Principality Premiership champions
28 April 2009 21:00
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.
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
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.