Cardiff Blues 29 Benetton Treviso 9
Thursday 21 April, 7.05pm
It was Treviso who had the best of the opening minutes, with rampaging runs in the Blues twenty two causing problems for the defence, before they were awarded a penalty that De Waal converted. However, two Dan Parks penalties cancelled out their early lead.
The Blues gathered momentum and a strong break by Czekaj into the Treviso half saw them gain great ground before the move was continued by Halfpenny, Williams, Davies and Filise. Eventually the Blues won a third penalty that Parks again converted.
De Waal slotted another back but it was the Blues who were looking to spread the ball with some nice touches from Laulala in midfield creating space. The Blues nearly scored after Parks had put in a neat grubber that Tom James did superbly to gather and cross the line, only to be called back for a foot in touch. However, it wasn’t one-way traffic with Treviso also looking to attack and putting together some nice moves together.
Zanni was yellow carded for persistently coming in from the side on the 30th minute and Parks extended the lead with the penalty. The Blues were creating chances but they were from long range with Czekaj again breaking from defence ably supported by Tom James. Eventually the ball went right were Richie Rees put in a deft pass to Roberts who took his man on the outside just before the move broke down just inside the Treviso twenty-two. Treviso were dealt a further blow when Rizzo was sent to the bin. With the two man advantage the Blues opted for the scrum and Treviso penalised pulling the ball out under Xavier Rush’s feet before Neil Pearson awarded a penalty try. Parks converted. De Waal scored a penalty to bring the score on the half to 19-9.
Half time Cardiff Blues 19 Benetton Treviso 9
The match seemed to lack intensity and there were some basic errors creeping in to the Blues play. Parks slotted another penalty but it was tries that the Blues needed if they were to get the bonus point that would move them to second place in the League.
The Blues did try to attack but lacked penetration. Jamie Roberts did manage to punch a hole in midfield and pass on to Rush who continued the move before it eventually came to an end in the Treviso twenty two again but after that it was Treviso. The Italian outfit were camped inside the Blues half for 10 minutes holding onto the ball and frustrating the home team and fans.
Eventually the Blues did get the second try. Parks kicked a penalty to the corner and Jones won the line out ball. The Blues pack drove and eventually Xavier Rush was pushed over the line.
Full time Cardiff Blues 29 Benetton Treviso 9
Cardiff Blues 15 Chris Czekaj 14 Leigh Halfpenny (12off) 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks (74off) 9 Richie Rees (62off)
8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Ma’ama Molitika (55off) 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Bradley Davies (60off) 3 Taufa’ao Filise (74off) 2 Gareth Williams (74off) 1 John Yapp (74off)
16 Rhys Williams (74on) 17 Sam Hobbs (74on) 18 Scott Andrews (74on) 19 Deiniol Jones (60off) 20 Michael Paterson (55on) 21 Lloyd Williams (62on) 22 Ceri Sweeney (74on) 23 Dafydd Hewitt (12on)
Benetton Treviso 15 Joseph Maddock 14 Tommaso Benvenuti 13 Ezio Galon 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Ludovico Nitoglia 10 Willem De Waal 9 Fabio Semenzato
8 Paul Derbyshire 7 Alessandro Zanni 6 Manoa Vosawai 5 Valerio Bernabò 4 Francesco Minto 3 Lorenzo Cittadini 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (C) 1 Augusto Allori
16 Franco Sbaraglini 17 Michele Rizzo 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet 19 Benjamin Vermaak 20 Robert Barbieri 21 Simon Picone 22 Andrew Vilk 23 Luke McLean
Tries Penalty try x 1 Rush x 1
Pen Parks x 4
Con Parks x 2
Pen De Waal x 3
Referee: Neil Paterson
Yellow Card: Alessandro Zanni, Michele Rizzo, Robert Barbieri