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DIXON: TATA MADE LIFE TOUGH FOR US.

43 tata steel TRIES: S Treharne, D Brown, D Griggs (3), D Guarneri, G Llewellyn.

CONS: D Guarneri (4).

73 CARDIFF TRIES: W Rees-Hole (2), E Howley (2), K Brown, A Jones, T Williams, T Daley, S Jones, J Thompson, C James. CONS: S Jones (9).

CARDIFF will be in the hat for tomorrow's WRU National Cup second-round draw after overcoming Championship outfit Tata Steel in an 18-try thriller.

Ten of the tries came before halftime when the Blue and Blacks led 42-26 and the Principality Premiership's side quality then told in the second half as they went on to seal the tie.

Will Rees-Hole and Ed Howley both scored twice, with Keiron Brown, Adam Jones, Tom Williams, Tom Daley, Steffan Jones, Joey Thompson and Callun James among the scorers for Cardiff, who outscored their hosts 11-7 on tries.

"Obviously it was an expansive game and it was clear from the start that Tata came to compete," said Cardiff defence coach James Dixon. "There were disappointing parts of our game that we need to look at, but in terms of attack we scored some nice tries.

"There were key areas where we were poor so it's just about reviewing that over the week.

"Tata caught us by surprise a lot and we weren't able to adapt to that as much as we would have liked to.

"But when all's said and done, we're happy to be through to the next round of the cup."

Cardiff took an early 14-0 lead through tries from Rees-Hole and Howley, both improved on by Steffan Jones, just two of his nine conversions.

The expected rout didn't arrive straightaway, however. From a short kick-off, Dai Griggs set up Sam Treharne to score in the corner. Dai Guarneri converted well, the first of four conversions for him.

From the restart, Tata got another try back. Dalton Brown broke clear of his markers to score an unconverted effort.

However, Cardiff increased their lead from 14-12 to 35-12 within six minutes as Brown, Adam Jones and Howley all quickly crossed.

Guarneri and Griggs got further tries back for Tata before the interval, but a converted Williams effort for Cardiff took the half-time score to 42-26.

The teams continued to swap tries. Griggs kept Tata in the game with his second, scored immediately after the restart, Daley went over for Cardiff then Geraint Llewellyn for Tata.

But Cardiff sealed the game with tries from Rees-Hole, Steffan Jones, Tomlinson and James before Griggs claimed his hat-trick for Tata in the last move of the game.

Tata Steel assistant coach Mike Healy said: "It was a really good performance from us and we stuck at it to the end.

"From 14 points down in the first five minutes, we showed true character to get back into the game. Dai Griggs is just proof of that; he scored a hat-trick including one from over the halfway line. He's one of a few fine players we have.

"Cardiff are a really good side but we're proud as we dug in and hopefully we can keep up performances like that until the end of the season."

CAPTION(S):

Will Rees-Hole of Cardiff is held by a Tata Steel defender.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 7, 2019
Words:535
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