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BBC Five Live
Alastair Hignell reports from Cardiff
 real 14k

Francois Pienaar with Graham Thomas
"The score kept creeping away from us"
 real 14k

Lynn Howells and Rob Howley with Graham Thomas
"It shows what happens when you have a world class kicker"
 real 56k

banner Friday, 27 October, 2000, 21:33 GMT 22:33 UK
Jenkins slaughters Saracens
Neil Jenkins: Cardiff hero with 24 points
Neil Jenkins: Cardiff hero with 24 points
Heineken Cup Pool Three
Cardiff 24-14 Saracens

Cardiff coach Lynn Howells was full of praise for fly-half Neil Jenkins after his eight penalties had beaten Saracens for the second time in six days.

"Nobody deserves the accolades more - I have always said Jenkins is very underrated," he said.

Saracens chief executive Francois Pienaar agreed.

"Cardiff are very strong and resilient, they defend really well and we found it difficult to penetrate them.

"And if you give them a chance Neil Jenkins will not miss," he said.


It is very difficult now - we have to depend on other sides to do well and it is not a situation we want to be in
  Francois Pienaar

Saracens now face a tough task to qualify from Pool three, something of which Pienaar was painfully aware.

"It is very difficult now - we have to depend on other sides to do well and it is not a situation we want to be in," he added.

But Howells refused to take Cardiff's qualification from Pool three for granted.

"I have always said the quarter-finals would not be decided until after Christmas and I still say that now," he said.

"There are sides capable of beating everyone," he added.

MBE

Jenkins was Cardiff's hero kicking all his side's 24 points just hours after visiting London to receive the MBE from the Queen.


I have always said the quarter-finals would not be decided until after Christmas and I still say that now
  A modest Lynn Howells

His club are now on course for qualification from the so-called "group of death" after a match played in an electrifying atmosphere at a packed Arms Park.

Jenkins kicked eight penalties, but Saracens could have sneaked the game had their kickers - Thomas Castagneide and Duncan McRae - not missed four easy kicks between them in the first-half.

McRae's misery was compounded when he missed another penalty from in front of the posts with the last kick of the game.

Four players players were sin-binned in a full-blooded affair, following five yellow cards in the first game at Vicarage Road last Saturday.

Metronomic kicking

The match had moved to an inevitable conclusion by the time McRae missed for the final time, as Jenkins' metronomic kicking took the sting out of a Saracens surge either side of half-time.

Castagneide finally succeeded with a penalty kick just before the break and slotted two more in the first ten minutes of the second-half.

Saracens had rocked Cardiff after 20 minutes when Tony Diprose picked up from the back of a cleverly wheeled scrum to feed Kevin Sorrell on the burst.

The centre powered through a stretched Cardiff defence to score the game's only try.

Killed off

But Cardiff were 9-0 up by that stage and Castagneide had missed two penalties and McRae one, before the Australian also missed the conversion.

An unflappable Jenkins added two more penalties before the break and then killed off the game with another three in the second-half.

Discipline was again a problem for both teams with two players from each side seeing yellow - and ten minutes in the sin bin.

Referee Antonio Lombardi came in for stick from all sections of the crowd for a whistle-happy display and the sin-binnings of Saracens' Scott Murray and Danny Grewcock for high tackles were harsh, as was Cardiff's Spencer John's for stamping.

Fantastic break

Cardiff centre Pieter Muller was deservedly given a spell in the bin in injury time for a ridiculously high tackle on the Saracens 22, though

The penalty against Grewcock after 66 minutes was perhaps the decisive point in the game.

Jamie Robinson made a fantastic break from defence, leaving England wing Dan Luger for dead and Grewcock's excellent scrag around the shoulders was harshly penalised by Lombardi.

Jenkins calmly stroked over his eighth penalty to take the score to 24-14 and the game beyond the dejected Saracens reach.


Scorers - Cardiff: Pens: N Jenkins 8

Saracens:Tries: K Sorrell, Pens: Castagneide 3

Teams

Cardiff: R Williams, N Walne, P Muller, J Robinson, G Thomas, N Jenkins, R Howley, A Lewis, J Humphreys, S John, C Quinnell, M Voyle, D Baugh, E Lewis, M Williams
Replacements: M Rayer, K Ellis, G Powell, D Geraghty, O Williams, G Kacala, W Fyvie

Saracens: T Castaignede, B Sparg, Johnson, K Sorrell, D Luger, McRae, K Bracken, Flatman, Russell, J White, S Murray, D Grewcock, Chesney, R Hill, T Diprose
Replacements: Roques, Cairns, Davison, Wallace, Arasa, Walshe, O Mahoney

Referee:A Lombardi (Italy)

Att: 13,350

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See also:

25 Oct 00 |  Heineken Cup
Dublin court hearing for Rogers
20 Oct 00 |  Heineken Cup
Saracens stunned by Blue and Blacks
21 Oct 00 |  Heineken Cup
Howells' warning to Cardiff critics
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