Cardiff Blues 34 Benetton Treviso 18
Saturday 22 September 6:30pm kick off Cardiff Arms Park
A minute’s silence was respectfully observed for Nevin Spence ahead of kick off for the Round 4 Rabo Direct match.
The Blues got off to a good start. A break by Tom James looked promising with Bradley Davies and Josh Navidi supporting well before the Blues won a penalty that Patchell converted.
The Blues got the first try from a superb effort by Dan Fish. Patchell caught a difficult ball and offloaded well to Warburton. When the ball was recycled Fish popped up showing great pace and drifted inside before taking Treviso fullback McLean on the outside for pace and scoring under the posts. Patchell converted.
Treviso’s first points came from the boot of fly-half Burton 15 minutes in but at this point it was the Blues who were controlling the game.
A quick tap penalty by Lloyd Williams gained ground with Bradley Davies linking up well to keep the move going. Patchell passed on to Gavin Evans whose onward pass went just behind Cuthbert who was free on the wing.
However, the big winger looked to have scored when the Blues spread the ball right with Tom James and Dan Fish both showing good hands to pass on to Cuthbert to sprint in at the corner. But the move came to nothing with the touch judge calling them back for a forward pass.
The try did come when Patchell fed Jamie Roberts and the big centre came crashing through the middle to score his first try since the Amlin Cup final against Toulon in May 2010. Patchell converted. The Blues were building momentum with Tom James and this time; Robin Copeland on his shoulder carrying on the attack into the Treviso twenty-two before it finally broke down.
Half time Cardiff Blues 17 Benetton Treviso 3
Treviso were dealt a blow early in the second half when Barbieri was yellow carded. The Blues capitalised with Patchell slotting a penalty.
The Blues were sniffing for their third try but when Roberts threw a long pass left it was intercepted by Toniolatti. The winger sprinted 70 yards to the Blues twenty-two. However, Patchell matched him for pace and with the assistance of Tom James bundled him into touch to prevent the score.
Treviso were pressing from close range and Botes, the scrum half, crossed the white wash but Lloyd Williams did superbly to get underneath him and prevent him touching down. Eventually the score came. Barbieri, who was back on the pitch, picked up from the base of the scrum, five metres out, to drive over. Burton then converted.
Treviso were proving a threat and the Blues only had a solitary penalty in the second half. Again they drove for the Blues try-line but this time Patchell got under the ball to prevent the try. They did however win a penalty when the Blues drifted offside and Burton maintained his 100% record to make it 20-13.
The Blues could breathe a sign of relief minutes later when Tovey scored on his home debut. Lloyd Williams threw a long pass that McLean knocked down into the hands of Tovey who showed great pace to sprint in to score with Patchell converting.
Treviso, however, didn’t think it was over and Barbieri again drove from close range for his second to make it 27-18 with less than 10 minutes left.
A late charge form the Blues saw them knock at the Treviso try-line. Eventually it came to another debutant, Campese Ma’afu, crashing over for the bonus point, with the impressive Patchell getting the extras.
Cardiff Blues 15 Dan Fish 14 Alex Cuthbert (55off) 13 Gavin Evans 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Rhys Patchell 9 Lloyd Williams
8 Robin Copeland 7 Sam Warburton (69off) 6 Josh Navidi 5 Lou Reed 4 Bradley Davies (Capt) 3 Benoit Bourrust (57off) 2 Andi Kyriacou 1 Nathan Trevett (69off)
16 Kristian Dacey 17 Campese Ma’afu (69on) 18 Scott Andrews (57on) 19 Macauley Cook 20 Rory Watts-Jones (69on) 21 Rob Lewis 22 Jason Tovey (55on) 23 Dafydd Hewitt
Benetton Treviso 15 Luke McLean 14 Edoardo Gori 13 Tommaso Benvenuti 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Giulio Toniolatti 10 Kristopher Burton 9 Tobias Botes
8 Robert Barbieri 7 Alessandro Zanni 6 Marco Filippucci 5 Dean Budd 4 Francesco Minto 3 Ignacio Frenandez-Rouyet 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Capt) 1 Alberto De Marchi
16 Franco Sbaraglini 17 Michele Rizzo 18 Jacobus Roux 19 Antonio Pavanello 20 Valerio Bernabo 21 Paul Derbyshire 22 Fabio Semenzato 23 Luca Morisi
Pen Patchell x 2
Try Fish x 1 Roberts x 1 Tovey x 1 Ma’fau x 1
Con Patchell x 4
Pen Burton x 2
Try Barbieri x 1
Con Burton x 1
Referee : Peter Fitzgibbon
Yellow Cards: Barbieri, B Davies
Man of Match: Josh Navidi