CROSS Keys are eager to put the scenes which marred their superb bonus point win over Cardiff on Friday night behind them when they travel to face Principality Premiership champions Pontypridd tonight, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
The Pandy Park side's magnificent 38-10 thrashing of the hosts at Cardiff Arms Park was scarred by an ugly and shocking mass brawl involving scores of players from both sides in the dying seconds.
Keys' replacement back rower Rhys Peebles was sent off after Cardiff captain Jonathon Edwards, already on a yellow card, lit the fuse by smashing the ball into his opponent's face.
A bad-tempered match, which saw the visitors' wing Nathan Trowbridge leave the field with a broken nose, erupted just before official Daniel Jones was set to blow the final whistle.
It will prove to be the talking point of a game that should be remembered for a superb team performance by the Gwent Valleys side who played some vintage champagne rugby that had high flying Cardiff chasing shadows.
Their back row of ex-Blues and Blacks blindside Reuben Tucker, openside Scott Matthews and number eight Adam Powell were sublime as was outside-half Dorian Jones, who scored a delightful try and ended up with 23 points after kicking three penalties, three conversions and a neat drop goal.
The other three tries were scored by Trowbridge, fellow wing Elliot Jones and Powell.
It was Keys' sixth win in a row and it sets them up well for tough trips to Pontypridd this evening in the league before they continue their British and Irish Cup adventures by playing champions Leinster A in Dublin on Saturday.
Keys director of rugby Jonathan Westwood admitted there were "disappointing scenes" at the end of the Cardiff game but praised his men for their superb win.
"We want to emphasise that we don't want what happened to overshadow what was our best performance for some time," he said.
"It would be harsh on anybody else to single out a particular player for praise because the whole squad was magnificent and I am so pleased we took full advantage of Cardiff's defensive frailties."
Keys head coach Greg Woods added: "It was a brilliant performance – we blew Cardiff away. Dorian Jones and Gerwyn Price (hooker) were superb as were the outstanding back row, but everyone played their part in a performance that is excellent preparation for our visit to Sardis Road."
Victory came at a further cost, with promising young outside-half Angus O'Brien hurting his ankle and leaving the field on crutches.