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Slick Blue &Blacks put Otters firmly in their place; SWALEC CUP SPOTLIGHT All the action from the fifth round Cardiff turn on the style with try blitz.



THE omens are good for Cardiff - the last time they beat Narberth in the Welsh Cup they went on to reach the 2007 final.

Only problem is that they will be looking to going one step further than two years ago after they lost that showpiece final in infamous fashion to unfancied Llandovery.

Cardiff forwards coach Howard Stone says he is not into omens and says there is still a long way to go.

"If I did believe in omens it would be a better omen if we went on to lift the cup this time," he said.

"But there is a lot of work still to be done between now and any final. For starters it would be nice to getahome draw in the next round for a change."

A lot of work had needed to be done at the end of the first half which had seen the score locked at 15-15. At that stage Cardiff knew they were in a cup tie.

The Blue and Blacks had been shocked to concede a try in the space of the opening 45 seconds.

A lost lineout and some flimsy tackling had allowed home centre Steve Martin to cross from 15 metres out.

Cardiff did come back with tries through prop Ian George and flanker Rhys Shellard as the visiting pack seemed to start finding holes in Narberth's defence.

At that stage Cardiff probably thought they had seen off the challenge of the Pembrokeshire outfit.

But the Otters, who had not lost since October and racked up 110 points in the previous two rounds, made Cardiff think again when full-back Matthew Davies scurried over in first-half injury time.

That was Narberth's last say in the match, however, asCardiff chalked up 38 unanswered points in the second half.

Those points came through five tries - two for No 8 Craig Everett - in the space of 21 minutes to highlight the gulf between semi-pro and keen amateur when it comes to fitness and endurance.

But Stone was still complimentary about Narberth. "They are a good side.

"They are second in Division One and we were expecting nothing less than a tough encounter," he insisted.

"There were a few jitters in the first half when they scored a couple of tries, but once we stuck to our structures and our game plan the tries came - it was as simple as that."

Narberth: Tries - SMartin, MDavies; pen - A Davies; con - A Davies.

Cardiff: Tries - I George, R Shellard (2), C Everett (2), S James, D Ryan, GChapman; pen - GDavies; cons - GDavies (5).


SCORING TIME: Pontypridd's Leighton Davies scores try despite a tackle by Matthew Thomas. PICTURE: Huw Evans Agency
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 26, 2009
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