Why the Exploits of Cardiff City will be one to remember

For any football team or player, the pinnacle of one’s career in the English game surely must be reaching the top flight?

For Cardiff City, after a few years of being around the playoffs and a series of new misses, this was finally made a reality after a 0-0 draw with Charlton.

What is all the more significant, however, is that this will be Cardiff’s first ever time in the Premier League, and as a Welsh club they will be only the second team behind Swansea to do this.

The story of Cardiff is somewhat heart-warming. A new owner has brought in increased finances after years of difficulty as well as an extremely debatable decision to change the traditional kit from blue to red.

In recent years, Cardiff have become a big side in the Championship and came close to an FA Cup win in 2008; losing to Portsmouth in the final.   

A changed stadium from Ninian Park to the Cardiff City Stadium further increased the incentive from Cardiff to go up one more step.

A League Cup penalty defeat to Liverpool brought more heartache for the fans but a new light for the following season saw Cardiff-boy Craig Bellamy signed on a permanent basis, perhaps giving Cardiff the boost they needed.

Having led the table since November, promotion has finally been confirmed and the famous South Wales derby will be contested in England’s top division where a tenth of the team’s are Welsh.


Photo Retrieved From: http://www.thehardtackle.com/2013/cardiff-city-cruising-to-the-premier-league/

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Wales 30-3 England. Wales Retain the Six Nations in Cardiff

It had been hotly tipped to be a seriously nail biting encounter in Cardiff, with the last round of games in the RBS Six Nations coming to a close, with 2 sides still in the running; all in one match.

Wales vs. England did not turn out to be nail biting at all. In fact the opposite, with Wales recording a record win over the English.

Two tries from Alex Cuthbert, 4 penalties from the ever brilliant Leigh Halfpenny and then 8 points kicked from Dan Biggar gave Wales the resounding win, and the Championship.

In a brutally contested first half, England; despite only seeing one penalty from Owen Farrell fly over, were still in it. Despite this, England had to be extremely defensive. Last time out at Italy, England conceded just 5 penalties. This margin was overtaken under 40 minutes.

England had made many mistakes but from this came one of my highlights of the Championship; a fantastic, try saving tap-tackle from Mike Brown to stop the Welsh Calvary.

For me, a key factor was the ever present Welsh crowd. In front of around 75,000 it was never going to be easy and perhaps this got to the inexperienced England team. After all, their most experienced player, Dan Cole, only recorded his 40th cap when starting this game.

In the end the game became a bit of a rout, and Wales had one on their own soil in the Millennium Stadium.  For England, and ten of the fifteen who had never played here; it was a harsh lesson.

The recovery period will be strenuous for Stuart Lancaster and his men, but expect this team to be back. The World Cup 2015 is one to look forward to, or even next year’s Six Nations. It must also be noted that the upcoming Lions tour will contain some highlight players from this Championship and match. A this moment, you would however look more towards the Welsh outfit.

For now, and most definitely deservedly, the tribute must go to the Welsh.

For a full in-detailed match report go to:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21778425

England vs. Wales – Six Nations Crunch Time

Saturday at 5:00pm will see England take on Wales in a crunch match to decide whether the Six Nations trophy will be returning to Cardiff or, for the first time in 10 years; England. 

With 4 impressive and tenacious wins out of 4, England need a win at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to secure the title. However, if the Welsh do win by a margin of more than 7 points, then they will take home the crown. 

Last Sunday, a passionate and somewhat dodgy performance saw England win against Italy at Twickenham. Since the beginning, they have not won any game by a comfortable margin. Instead, tough performances have given them the wins. 

A fairly youthful and inexperienced outfit, many of Stuart Lancaster’s side will not have experienced playing in Cardiff, where the Welsh atmosphere will be rousing. For this reason, the match will be a classic.

In an interview for the BBC, earlier this week, England defence coach, Andy Farrell spoke here about how experience for England will come through important matches saying that:

“Experience has to start somewhere and we have to be challenging to win our first trophy.”

Lancaster’s side is impressive. A major reshuffle after the disastrous World Cup Campaign, which saw an early exit under the guidance of Martin Johnson, led to a whole new line-up of talent.

Under captain Chris Robshaw; who has little over single figured caps, England has a great potential. Owen Farrell, as Fly Half, at just 21, has seen England through many moments of the Six Nations. He will be back on Saturday and will be looking to improve after a tough time had against France.

For me, I cannot wait. Alongside an England win, a Chris Ashton swan dive would go down a treat, much to the disgust of the watching Welsh fans. The game will have everything in it, including some crunching tackles.

 One thing that is clear is this is not one to miss.