The Friday night lights shone brightly on Cardiff RFC as they battled back from a slow start to secure a bonus point win over Carmarthen Quins at the Arms Park.
Steve Law made a number of changes to the team that overcame the old rivals Newport last week, with Callum Bradbury returning from injury in the second row, talismanic Morgan Allen back at number eight, Llywarch ap Myrddin recalled on the wing and young Ioan Davies at full-back.
However, despite the changes to the team there was an all too familiar slow start from Cardiff, with the side having been similarly hesitant in getting off the mark at Rodney Parade last weekend.
Two penalties from Aled Thomas and a wonderful counter attack try from Steffan Marshall, set up by Torin Myhill, brother of Cardiff Blues hooker Kirby, gave Carmarthen an early 13-0 lead as some disjointed Blue and Blacks play left them playing catch up.
However, Cardiff fly-half Gareth Thompson dragged his side kicking and screaming into the game before half-time, as his clockwork boot kicked two penalties before a scintillating break off first phase ball cut the Quins defence wide open before Tom Williams was on hand to score under the posts.
A third Thompson penalty gave the hosts the lead at the interval, and from there we never looked back as we settled into an attacking rhythm that Carmarthen could not live with, and applied pressure in defence that very few teams in the Premiership would be able to overcome.
Sam Pailor was the beneficiary of a strong driving maul as the set piece started clicking, before a beautiful line from Jack Roberts saw him slice through the Quins defence after a short pass from Ben Thomas, and the winger was under the posts as he continues his return from a number of serious injuries.
Three minutes left and suddenly, from 0-13 down, a bonus point win was on the cards as Cardiff were awarded a scrum five metres from the line.
The replacement Blue and Black front row of Fraser Young, Ian Jenkins and Peter Lloyd was working well as a unit, and after a surprisingly high number of reset scrums, eventually the referee was left with no choice but to go under the posts and the five points were secured.
Despite another slow start it was an impressive 24-0 second half score line that saw Cardiff gain a 40-16 win, and with Pontypridd not playing on the weekend it meant the Blue and Blacks rise to second place in the Principality Premiership.
Furthermore, with Aberavon defeating Merthyr on Saturday evening, Cardiff finished the weekend just four points off top spot and still unbeaten in 2019 with every game in the calendar year throwing up a try bonus point.
Attention next weekend turns back to the WRU National Cup, as Steve Law takes his side North for a tough test away at RGC, but in the current form don't bet against the Blue and Blacks coming back with a win.
Images kindly donated and copyright Viv Jones