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Ebbw Vale coach Mike Ruddock
"We're just pleased to progress after a difficult start to the season"
 real 14k

Ebbw Vale fly-half Jason Strange
"I was pleased with the way the kicking went"
 real 14k

BBC Wales' Nick Webb
reports from Virginia Park
 real 14k

Saturday, 24 March, 2001, 18:25 GMT
Strange kicks Caerphilly out of Cup
Andrew Wagstaff
Andrew Wagstaff took advantage of flimsy tackling
Caerphilly 6-38 Ebbw Vale

Ebbw Vale swept aside Caerphilly to advance into the semi-finals of the Principality Cup, thanks to an immaculate kicking display from Jason Strange who finished with 28 points.

But Vale didn't have it all their own way despite the one-sided scoreline.

It was all Caerphilly in the opening stages and flanker Karl Hocking was very nearly over following some slick handling.

Ebbw Vale had to go offside to keep them out and Luke Richards punished them with two well struck penalties, although Stange replied with two for the visitors

Jason Strange is on top of his kicking game right now
  Kevin Hopkins
Ebbw Vale coach
The Steelmen were first to touchdown, prop Damien Pensini diving on the ball after a ruck had moved into the in-goal area.

Twice Caerphilly were turned over in possession by an Ebbw pack well led by former Wales international Mark Jones.

Showing excellent form, Strange extended Vale's lead with three more penalties to take Vale into a 22-6 interval lead.


The visitors took up where they had left off and within minutes of the restart Nathan Budgett - working hard in the back row to remind Wales coach Graham Henry of his worth - had smashed his way towards the try line.

The Castlemen were being frequently penalised by referee Gareth Simmons and Strange slotted over three more penalties.

Ebbw suffered a set back when they lost Jones with an elbow injury but their victory charge was assisted by some flimsy tackling for Andrew Wagstaff to ground the ball for a try in the corner, Strange rounding off the win with the final conversion.

Ebbw Vale coach Kevin Hopkins was delighted with the victory: "This performance was the result of a lot of hard work put in by our players. Caerphilly went off hard but we came back well.

"Jason Strange is on top of his kicking game right now and his place kicking was in a league of its own today.

"The semi-final against Newport next month is going to be hard but we will give our fans a great day at the Millennium Stadium."

Caerphilly: Pens: Richards 2.

Ebbw Vale: Tries: Wagstaff, Penisini. Cons: Strange 2. Pens: Strange 8.


Caerphilly: J Thomas; N Berbillion, G Evans, R Boobyer, G Lewis; L Richards, C Bridges; A Jones, J Hughes, M Wilson, M Workman, N Watkins, B Watkins, K Hocking, A Mocelutu.
Replacements: J Hooper, C John, N Jones, A Williams, M Bolton, G Thomas, I Jones.

Ebbw Vale: P Matthews; S John, R Shorney, J Hawker, A Wagstaff; J Strange, R Smith; I Thomas, L Phillips, D Pensini, C Billen, D Jones, N Budgett, M Jones (capt), G Green.
Replacements: A Phillips, B Morris, N Edwards, S Williams, G Betts, S Connor, A Harris.

Att: 2440

Referee: G Simmons (WRU).

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