Aironi 26 Cardiff Blues 37
Saturday 8 October 3.00pm kick off
It was Aironi who kicked off and got the first try early on. After a period of pressure with Aironi working the phases well, the ball was passed out to Sinoti Sinoti on the wing, who powered his way over on the left in the third minute.
The Blues struck back instantly. Having been awarded a penalty in the Aironi twenty-two, Molitika took it quickly. The Blues recycled well and the ball went out to Dafydd Hewitt who threw a dummy and powered over. Sweeney converted and slotted a penalty minutes later to put the Blues ahead.
The Blues were playing well and stringing some nice passes together. Hewitt did superbly to release the ball in the tackle to Czekaj who had a clean run in. However, the ball was deemed to have gone forward by the touch judge and they retreated back for the scrum.
Sweeney and Olivier exchanged penalties but the next try came from an interception. Aironi looked to throw it wide and Tom James gathered the stray pass. He offloaded to Laulala, who danced through some tackles before Czekaj showed his pace and agility to change and angle and sprint in. Sweeney converted.
Olivier slotted another for Aironi to bring the half time score to 11-20.
Half time Aironi 11 Cardiff Blues 20
The second half started with a period of pressure on the Blues try-line. However, some committed tackling kept them out before Aironi were awarded a scrum and Nick Williams powered over from a few metres out.
Again the Blues struck back instantly. A huge hit by Dafydd Hewitt in the centre saw the young Llantwit Major product gather the spilled ball and sprint in before an ankle tap brought him down. He flipped a pas to Rush who powered over. Sweeney converted.
The Blues nearly leaked a try when from a line out Aironi spread the ball right before Olivier slipped an inside pass to Sinoti, who drew Czekaj, before Williams knocked on the pass when only metres out. However, Aironi’s fourth try did come. Some sloppy tackling by the Blues saw Aironi work the ball all the way from their own try-line, before eventually Pavan scored. Tebaldi missed the conversion.
It was a tense finish to the game with a 6-point gap and only 10 minutes left to play. Aironi put pressure on themselves fumbling passes and the Blues had a good opportunity to get their fourth try, however, Cuthbert was held up just short and the Blues failed to capitalise. They were awarded a penalty that Sweeney slotted to give them a nine-point lead.
The lead was nearly shortened when Sinoti jinxed through some tackles and Giazzon sprinted into the twenty-two and was held just short of the line. From the scrum Williams picked up and was driven over despite the Blues players trying to force him back. Olivier missed the crucial conversion that would have meant a 2-point gap instead of four.
With the clock on 80 minutes there was time for one last try. Tom James worked the ball into the Aironi half before the ball was moved right through Laulala. He passed to Czekaj who threw a dummy and sprinted over to seal a great win. Sweeney added the extras.
Tries Hewitt x 1 Czekaj x 1 Rush x 1
Pen Sweeney x 3
Con Sweeney x 4
Tries Sinoti x 1 Williams x 2 Tebaldi x 1
Pen Olivier x 2
15. Chris Czekaj 14. Alex Cuthbert 13. Casey Laulala 12. Dafydd Hewitt (61off) 11. Tom James 10. Ceri Sweeney 9. Richie Rees
8. Xavier Rush 7. Thomas Young 6. Maama Molitika 5. Paul Tito (c) (40off) 4. Michael Paterson 3. Scott Andrews (53off) 2. Rhys Williams (56off) 1. Sam Hobbs (53off)
16. Ryan Tyrrell (56on) 17. Nathan Trevett (53on) 18. Ryan Harford (53on) 19. Deiniol Jones (40on) 20. Luke Hamilton 21. Lewis Jones 22. Gareth Davies (61on) 23. Gavin Evans
15 Ruggero Trevisan; 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti; 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tito Tebaldi;
8 Nick Williams, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Frans Viljoen; 5 George Biagi, 4 Joshua Furno; 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria (cap), 1 Matias Aguero.??
16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Josh Sole, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Tyson Keats, 22 Roberto Quartaroli, 23 Riccardo Pavan.