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 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 19:06 GMT
Neath power pummels Cardiff
Nathan Bonner-Evans feeds Andy Moore
Neath's strength at the scrum troubled Cardiff
Neath 32-10 Cardiff

The All Blacks advance to meet Munster in the final of the Celtic League at the Millennium Stadium after a 32-10 win over Cardiff at the Gnoll.

Their forward strength paved the way for victory as the Blue and Blacks' vaunted back line failed to make an impact on the game.

Cardiff threatened a second-half fightback, but in the end four tries along with 17 points from Blue-and-Blacks old-boy Lee Jarvis made the home side more-than-comfortable victors.

Neath will need to iron out some of the uncertainties in their game before they become the first team to represent Wales in the Celtic League final on 1 February, though.

Match details:
Neath
Tries: N Bonner-Evans, D Tiueti, L Jarvis, G Morris
Cons: Jarvis (3)
Pens: Jarvis (2)
Cardiff
Try: R Smith
Con: I Harris
Pen: Harris
Lee Jarvis opened the scoring with a 12th-minute penalty, but it could have been a try had flanker Alfie Mocelutu not spurned a clear overlap.

Soon after Cardiff's front-row injury problems were compounded as Ken Fourie was carried off the pitch to be replaced by player-coach Dai Young. Hooker Andrew Lewis was a late withdrawal before kick-off.

Without a set-piece presence for the visitors, the All Blacks' pressure was relentless.

A scrum five was picked up by Neath number eight Nathan Bonner-Evans. The big man was unstoppable off the front foot and he carried two men over for the opening try.

Ten minutes later Bonner-Evans drove forward from another attacking scrum, the ball was shipped to Jarvis and he fed Dave Tiueti on the charge.

Gareth Llewellyn and Martyn Williams
The two captains square up
Again the tackle came in, but it could not stop the full-tilt Tongan from breaching the line and giving the home side a 17-0 half-time lead.

The Blue and Blacks awakened memories of their memorable quarter-final fightback against Edinburgh, though, as Richard Smith crossed for a try at the start of the second period.

Craig Morgan looked to have kicked away a promising situation, but the ball rebounded kindly to Smith, whose score in the corner was superbly converted by Iestyn Harris.

A Harris penalty soon followed, bringing Cardiff back within a score at 17-10.

Steve Tandy
Neath flanker Steve Tandy was everywhere
The rhythm seemed to have left the All Blacks' game, until a powerful driving line out saw quality ball delivered back to Jarvis.

He dummied a drop goal, side-stepped and sprinted over for a converted try against his old club.

Neath regained their poise and control for the rest of the game and it was unsurprisingly another forward-moving scrum that set up the final try for wing Gareth Morris.


Neath: Adrian Durston; Gareth Morris, Dave Tiueti, James Storey, Shane Williams; Lee Jarvis, Andy Moore; Duncan Jones, Barry Williams, Adam Jones, Andy Newman, Gareth Llewellyn, Steve Tandy, Nathan Bonner-Evans, Alfie Mocelutu.
Reps: Allan Bateman, Shaun Connor, Patrick Horgan, Andrew Millward, Steve Martin, Rowland Phillips, Steve Jones.

Cardiff: Rhys Williams; Nick Walne, Jamie Robinson, Matt Allen, Craig Morgan; Iestyn Harris, Richard Smith; Tom Payne, G Woods, Ken Fourie, Heino Senekal, John Tait, Dan Baugh, Martyn Williams (capt), Emyr Lewis.
Reps: David Young, Lewis Collins, Adam Jones, Dan McShane, Ryan Powell, Nicky Robinson, Dean Dewdney.

Ref: Allan Lewis (IRFU)

Att: 6,471


The final

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