NEATH 17 CARDIFF 59
Pre-match optimism that the new-look, shredded Neath squad might repeat their tremendous showing against Bargoed proved completely unwarranted as Cardiff ran away to a comfortable victory at The Gnoll.
This was Cardiff’s 400th Premiership game and they can rarely have come up against a side in such a state of unpreparedness. And Cardiff are going well at the moment with too much power all round for Neath.
For the record, Cardiff’s nine tries were registered by Joseph Gatt (2), Tom Daley, Morgan Allen, William Rees-Hole, the Neath trio of Max Llewellyn, Martin Roberts and Edward Howley and Gareth Thompson who converted seven of them.
In arrears 7-42 at half-time, Neath battled hard throughout and countered briefly for a spell after the interval when they matched the visitors and carved out three fine tries by James Roberts, Ben Uphill and Ian Ellis with Callum Hall converting one before Cardiff finished stronger.
Battered and bruised as the Neath Re-Mourners are, their efforts were again fully appreciated by the supporters.
All will be praying for an end to the current troubles and there was no mistaking the under-current of resentment which prevailed at the end by which time Mike Cuddy had long departed the scene of the crime.
Aaron Bramwell again leads the NEATH team which takes on CARDIFF at THE GNOLL on FRIDAY evening (kick off 7.30pm).
Neath make six changes to the match-day squad from that which stunned many by overcoming Bargoed 30-12 last week. Among those missing are Keiran Williams and Tyla Murvei who is unavailable.
Winger Alec Jenkins is fit again to resume on the bench while Nathan Griffiths (Treorchy), Tom Slater (Narberth), Steff Bond (Skewen), Kieran Griffiths (Maesteg Quins) and Joe Grabham (Bridgend Athletic) come in.
Neath coaches Simon King, Paul Williams and Paul James united in saying, “After last week’s stirring performance, we will be seeking more of the same against Cardiff who have been going well. Support for the squad has been coming in strong all week from all directions and the passionate Gnoll crowd will demonstrate their thanks and support again tomorrow night. Expect another fully-committed display from a side who will give it everything and wear the Neath jersey with pride.”
The squad is :-
Neath v Cardiff (Home)
15 Callum Hall ; 14 James Roberts, 13 Regan King, 12 Aaron Bramwell (captain), 11 Ian Ellis; 10 Gavin Evans, 9 Tom Briggs; 1 Ben Uphill, 2 Garin Lloyd, 3 Tom Slater; 4 Lee Evans, 5 Rhys Morgan; 6 Elis Hopkins, 8 Leon Ward, 7 Ceri White
Replacements: 16 Steff Bond, 17 Sion Crocker, 18 Kieran Griffiths, 19 Adam Harris, 20 Iwan Davies, 21 Joe Grabham. 22 Nathan Griffiths, 23 Alec Jenkins