Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau and Advance Australia Fair were beautifully sang by Alun Rhys Jenkins and Mary-Jean O’Doherty ahead of the much anticipated first ever international rugby match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
It wasn’t long before Ben Blair got the first points with a long distance penalty, superbly struck in the opening 3 minutes. However, it didn’t take long for the young Australian backs to take advantage after the restart, Ryan Cross scoring a try within seconds following a good break by O’Connor. O’Connor also successfully converted.
Australia again capitalised after the restart, finding touch and testing the Blues defence early on their own line. The Blues pack looked strong after the lineout though and eventually a penalty was awarded to the home side for holding on.
O’Connor added another penalty to make it 3-10.
The Blues broke down the left and Australia were penalised for coming into the side of the ruck, which lead to the Blues kicking for a lineout 5 metres out. Jones won the ball cleanly but despite the Blues going forward they were penalised and Australia cleared.
The Australians nearly had a breakaway try following the Blues spilling the ball in the opposition half and Lachie Tunrer did well initially to kick the ball ahead before the dead ball line beat him to touch down.
Australia struck again before half time following another Blues error spilling the ball. This time Ryan Cross broke away and passed on to O’Connor who fed Beale who sprinted in from 20 yards. O’Connor again converted.
Cardiff Blues 3 Australia 17
The Blues started the second half strongly gaining territory but Australia turned the ball over and cleared whenever they threatened. Australian Number 8 Richard Brown was sent to the bin by James Jones but the Blues failed to take advantage of the extra man.
The Blues did have a promising move down the right with Rhys Thomas feeding Rush who looked to put Hewitt in on the overlap, however the ball was knocked on by Beale and the blues were awarded a scrum when it looked as though they would get a penalty.
Despite having a lot of possession, the Blues were failing to create anything while the Australians always looked dangerous with ball in hand.
The Blues came to life with 10 minutes left with a great move in the backs down the left with slick hands from Sweeney and Hewitt
However, it was Australia who flourished with George Smith breaking strongly passing on to Luke Morahan who score don his debut for Australia. O’Connor converted.
In the dying minutes Beale added another following a good break by Matt Hogson. O’Connor converted to bring the final score to Cardiff Blues 3 Australia 31.
Referee James Jones
Touch Judges David Bodilly & Huw David
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 66off 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gareth Thomas 32off 12 Dafydd Hewitt
11 Chris Czekaj 10 Sam Norton-Knight 9 Gareth Cooper 40off
8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Ben White 40off 6 Sam Warburton 5 Scott Morgan 40off
4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell 46off 66on 2 T Rhys Thomas 74off 1 Taufa’au Filise 66off
16 Rhys Williams 74on 17 Sam Hobbs 46on18 Paul Tito 40on 19 Robin Sowden Taylor 40on 20 Richie Rees 40on 21 Ceri Sweeney 66on 22 Gavin Evans 32on
Australia 15. James O’Connor (Western Force) 14. Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs) 13. Ryan Cross (Western Force) 12. Tyrone Smith (Brumbies) 11. Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs) 10. Matt Toomua (Brumbies) 9. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)
8. Richard Brown (Western Force) 7. Matt Hodgson (Western Force) 6. Mitchell Chapman (Brumbies) 5. Dean Mumm (c) (NSW Waratahs) 4. Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs) 3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs) 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs) 1. Pekahou Cowan (Western Force)
16. Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies) 17. Matt Dunning (Western Force) 18. David Pocock (Western Force) 19. George Smith (Brumbies) 20. Richard Kingi (Queensland Reds) 21. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds) 22. Luke Morahan (Queensland Reds)
Yellow Card. Richard Brown
Penalty Blair x 1
Try Cross x 1 Beale x 2 Morahan x 1
Penalty O’Connor x 1
Con O’Connor x 4