Benetton Treviso 7 Cardiff Blues 19
Blues end Treviso’s home run record with hard fought win.
Friday 24 September 7.05pm kick off
Dan Parks kicked off the first Cardiff Blues v Benetton Treviso match at the Blues instantly went on the attack following a Treviso knock on, with Martyn Williams and Shanklin just being held short a metre out. The Blues went through the phases before eventually being awarded a penalty that Parks converted 3 minutes in.
The game was being played at a good temp with both teams looking to spread the ball whenever possible. However, the Blues weren’t winning cleaning ball at the set piece which was putting pressure on Lloyd Williams. Halfpenny was just short with a trademark long range effort from his own half, before Parks hit the upright with his effort. However, the Blues gathered the rebound and Parks slotted a neatly taken drop goal.
Dafydd Hewitt was proving a handful in midfield, strong in the attack, and finding gaps in the Treviso defence. The breakthrough came with an individual piece of brilliance from Lloyd Williams. The young scrum half threw a dummy at the base of a ruck and sprinted into the Treviso twenty two. He did well to turn the full back and maybe should have passed before the tackle. However, the ball fell kindly for Blair to gather and dive over. Parks converted to bring the score at half time to 0-13.
Half time Benetton Treviso 0 Cardiff Blues 13
The second half started with Treviso making five changes, with an entire new front row, blindside flanker and outside half. Cheered on by the partisan crowd Treviso were gathering momentum, but the Blues tackled firmly and managed to repel the attacks.
However, a Treviso penalty lead to a lineout 5 metres out and saw the Italians drive to the line. Andrew McMenemy referred the decision to the TMO and the try was awarded to Treviso Captain, Antonio Pavanello, with Antonio Botes converting with an hour of the match gone.
The score lifted the home side and metre by metre they picked and drove towards the Blues try line. They were awarded a scrum but again the Blues tackled hard and eventually turned the ball over only yards from their line.
Parks eased the pressure a bit with a long range effort to bring the score to 7-16 with 10 minutes left, but the game was far from safe. However, with Parks kicking into Treviso territory things were looking better. Man of the match Parks slotted another drop goal in the 76th minute and the game was won.
15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Lloyd Williams (64off)
8 Maama Molitika 7 Martyn Williams (72off) 6 Michael Paterson 5 Paul Tito (C) (64off) 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Faao Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Gethin Jenkins
16 Tom Davies 17 Kristian Dacey 18 John Yapp 19 Andries Pretorius (64on) 20 Sam Warburton (72on) 21 Gareth Cooper (64on) 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Gavin Evans
Benetton Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams 14 Joseph Maddock 13 Tommaso Benvenuti 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Luke McLean 10 Kristopher Burton 9 Tobias Botes
8 Manoa Vosawai 7 Alessandro Zanni 6 Marco Filippucci 5 Corniel Van Zyl 4 Antonio Pavanello (Captain) 3 Pedro Di Santo 2 Franco Sbaraglini 1 Augusto Allori
16 Leonardo Ghiraldini 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet 18 Lorenzo Cittadini 19 Enrico Pavanello 20 Robert Barbieri 21 Paul Derbyshire 22 Fabio Semenzato 23 Simon Picone
Tries Blair x 1
Pen Parks x 2
Con Parks x 1
D/G Parks x 2
Tries Pavanello x 1
Con Botes x 1
Referee Andrew McMenemy