Llanelli......57 Glasgow Caledonian Reds......21

Glasgow fail to find form

GLASGOW Caley lived up to their nickname at Stradey Park on Saturday. But, as coach Richie Dixon was quick to admit, any evidence of red was to be seen on the faces of the players as opposed to their jerseys.

In the wake of yet another extremely disappointing trip to the Principality, Dixon ruefully confessed: ''Putting it in simple terms, it was an embarrassment. It was one of these occasions when certain people just didn't perform.''

From the moment home full back Matt Cardey broke the deadlock, there was never a doubt about the outcome. In fact, the early domination of Llanelli was so glaring that the contest was effectively over within 20 minutes.

Dixon declared: ''The first half had no redeeming features whatsoever for us.

''The big problem was the poor first-up tackling in midfield, which allowed them to surge over the gain line before we were up and at them. One their momentum was established, they were very difficult to stop.

''In all honesty, it was a problem we should have cured months ago. So, it was a step back instead of what it should have been - a big stride towards competing with these leading Welsh teams on a consistent basis.

''The players know what the problems are and they have to take it on board.

''They trained well, they prepared well and there were no excuses.''

Dixon went on: ''It could have been the case that certain players had next weekend's international matches on their mind.

''It is difficult when you are playing at this level when they are darting back and forward from one team to another. This is the first year we have had to do this on such a scale and it is not proving a very easy exercise. It is something the players have got to come to terms with - and quickly.''

The coaches insisted that there were also pluses, saying: ''Glenn Metcalfe was superb at full back, while Graeme Beveridge at scrum-half kept his game up very well.

''Another bonus was that Gordon Simpson proved his fitness by lasting the whole match.''

It took only seven minutes for full back Cardey, who is favourite to take over from Shane Howarth in the Wales line-up, to score the first try.

From that moment on there was never any doubt about the destiny of the spoils.

Test lock Chris Wyatt launched an attack from halfway and galloped up the wing with Irishman Simon Easterby in support. Cardey came steaming up to take an inside pass and crash over in the corner.

Five minutes later, Easterby and Ian Boobyer combined to put Wales reject Dafydd James in at the same corner. Glasgow didn't know what had hit them but as fly half Steve Jones missed his second conversion, the 10-0 lead didn't reflect Llanelli's overwhelming dominance.

Caley then steadied the ship for a while with stand-in skipper Glenn Metcalfe posing some questions to a well-organised Llanelli side. But a loose pass by Scottish international prop Dave Hilton into the arms of home hooker Robin McBryde put Glasgow on the back foot again and the impressive Cardey grabbed his second try.

Towards the end of the half Llanelli stepped up a gear again with flanker Easterby crossing over for another Llanelli score to effectively tie up the game.

Jones slotted his first conversion and was on target again after claiming another touchdown.

The Llanelli surge continued after the break with tries from scrum half Rupert Moon, flanker Jonny Koloi and Neil Boobyer in quick succession.

Glasgow staged a mini-comeback midway through the second half as the Scarlets eased off with the points in the bag.

Back-row Martin Waite grabbed two scores in three minutes after Shaun Longstaff had broken the duck.

Hayes kicked all three conversions to make the scoreline a bit more respectable - but Llanelli responded with the final touchdown through Ian Boobyer.

To add to Caley's worries, they could be without flanker Donnie Macfadyen for up to six weeks. The Scotland Under-21 skipper sustained a collarbone injury and will undergo scans this week to find out the full extent of the problem.

Despite his problems, Dixon couldn't disguise his delight at the news that his squad skipper, Andy Nicol, had become a dad for the first time.

Wife Janet produced daughter Natasha in Edinburgh on Friday.

''Everybody is chuffed for them,'' smiled Uncle Richie. ''It puts everything in perspective.''

Llanelli - M Cardey (C Warlow, 47min); W Proctor (M Jones, 47), N Boobyer, D James, S Finau; S Jones, R Moon; P Booth (M Madden, 60), R McBryde (M Thomas, 47), J Davies, V Cooper, C Wyatt (T Copsey, 69), J Koloi, I Boobyer, S Easterby (I Jones, 69).

Glasgow Caley - G Metcalfe; S Longstaff, A Bulloch, J Stuart (R Shepard, 62), J Craig; T Hayes, G Beveridge, D Hilton, G Scott, G McIllwham, S Campbell, J White, G Simpson, J Petrie (M Waite, 60), J MacFadden.

Scorers: Llanelli: Tries - Cardey 2, D James, S Easterby, S Jones, Moon, Koloi, N Boobyer, I Boobyer. Conversions - S Jones 6. Glasgow Caley: Tries - Waite, Longstaff. Conversions - Hayes 3.

Scoring sequence: 5-0, 10-0, 15-0, 22-0, 29-0 (half-time); 36-0, 43-0, 50-0, 50-7, 50-14, 50-21, 57-21.

Referee - R Elliott (Cardiff).