Por casi una hora, los jóvenes y los trabajadores a tiempo parcial de Cardiff se enfrentaron cara a cara con los campeones de Inglaterra. Habían impresionado de una manera poco halagüeña., prácticamente insultante, defeat to the champions of France and Europe last weekend, but this time they backed it up with enough tries to remain level with a practically full-strength Arlequines until the verge of the hour.
This was not a flattering scoreline, ya sea, although there was little arguing with the four tries by which Quins pulled away in the final quarter, two of them for Alex Dombrandt.
Todavía, given the 42 players Cardiff had missing this week, as well as last, following the dramas of their escape from South Africa and subsequent quarantine, this was some effort by the groundsman, the primary-school teacher and all the other euphemisms for the part-timers, which in this case applied literally.
And the future looks bright, if the performance of some of these kids is anything to go by, particularly those of the fliers out wide, Cameron Winnett and Theo Cabango, whose brother is a Wales football international.
Cabango’s solo try, which drew Cardiff level on the approach to half-time, was a thing of wonder. los 17-17 score at the break, which held until Dombrandt’s first in the 58th minute, was no less than Cardiff deserved, predicated on earlier tries by Winnett and James Botham, in reply to tries by Danny Care and Marcus Smith, the latter’s typically brilliant.
But in the final stages Quins’ power took over, Dombrandt’s brace enhanced by scores from Joe Marchant and Andre Esterhuizen.