Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Benetton Rugby
Fri 28 November 19:35 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 5,028 Ref: Andrew McMenemy Pro12

Cardiff Blues 36 Benetton Treviso 25

Fri 28 Nov 2014 20:35 Cardiff Blues 36 Benetton Treviso 25
Scrum half Lloyd Williams scored the opening try of the game after a neat dummy, but Treviso hit back with visiting fly half Joe Carlisle diving over after a kind bounce.

Argentina international Joaquin Tuculet produced a brilliant individual finish as Treviso took a slender 13-12 lead into the break.

Wing Richard Smith grabbed a third home try before hooker Kristian Dacey grabbed the try bonus point before the hour.

Two quick-fire tries from replacement Francesco Minto in seven minutes saw the Italians roar back into the game.

But Rory Watts-Jones crashed over with seven minutes left to ensure Blues secured a second win of the league season and first on home soil.

Gareth Anscombe got Blues underway on home soil before new signing Tuculet was straight into the action as he looked to dance his way away from tackles in midfield.

Hooker Kristian Dacey flicked a beautiful pass out of a tackle to release Macauley Cook in midfield and the back row charged down with Treviso men desperately trying to haul him back.

Slick hands looked to send Richard Smith into space before Filo Paulo and Cook combined to send the back row away. Dacey made a dart for the line before a kick in behind from Anscombe almost sent Gavin Evans in.

Treviso produced a thrilling break from deep to keep the ball alive and when Cook shot out the line he was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on and Carlisle nudged over a simple three points.

The response from Blues was emphatic as Adam Thomas and Ellis Jenkins rattled into contact. Tuculet was close on the right wing, after Jenkins’s offload, before the ball came in field and scrum half Williams produced a sublime dummy and stretched over to score.

The forward were going to work with real vigour as Navidi and Dacey pumped their legs in contact to make extra yards. Richard Smith then attacked the line from deep but was just held up short before the penalty was conceded.

Tuculet was looking strong under any high balls before he produced a terrific bomb kick into the night sky that picked off by Thomas.

A moment of individual opportunism, and slice of good fortune, saw Carlisle score for Treviso as he kicked in behind before collecting as the ball bounce wickedly away from three Blues players and into the hands of the grateful fly half. Carlisle converted for a 10-7 lead after 23 minutes.

A penalty from the restart saw Blues and Anscombe kick to the corner instead of for the posts. The forwards looked to drive over but were halted before the home side went right but could find no way through.

Blues grabbed a second try of the night with a quite brilliant finish from new signing. The full back hit the line at pace and, despite the attentions of three Treviso men, touched down to re-take the lead.

Anscombe was looking to control the game for Blues on his home debut with a skidding kick in behind forcing Treviso to play from deep.

Tuculet produced another sparkling offload after timing his run to meet Geraint Walsh’s inside pass to perfection.

A period of pressure from Treviso, which started after Blues dropped a lineout close to their line, allowed Carlisle to send the Italians back into the lead.

A high tackle allowed the Italians to attack one more time before half-time, but they knocked on in the shadow of the posts as Treviso led at the break.

Anscombe was replaced at half-time by Gareth Davies after suffering a leg injury in the first half and his first act was to launch a deep kick into touch to avert any danger.

Paulo unleashed a huge tackle to disrupt visiting ball while Adam Jones saw his game end on 46 minutes when he was replaced by fit-again prop Craig Mitchell.

The big front rower immediately put his weight behind a big scrum to win a penalty and Davies slotted the kick for a 15-13 lead.

Blues looked to up the tempo with Navidi twice carrying powerfully as Treviso were shunted back before Evans ran a sweet arching line and offloaded in the tackle to winger Smith to race over.

The home side dug deep to hold Treviso out and then launched a counter with Dacey the man to cut the line and show a clean pair of heels to race over and score the try bonus point.

Treviso needed a quick way back into the game and struck within three minutes as replacement Francesco Minto was given too much time and broke over to give the Italians hope.

Seven minutes later and Minto was the man again Treviso drove over a lineout to spark hope of an impressive comeback.

Blues needed to re-group quickly and a drive of their own won a penalty. Davies opted for the corner and not the posts from long-range. Another driving penalty saw Davide Giazzon yellow carded.

The next lineout hit the jackpot as the forwards powered over with replacement Watts-Jones scoring to finally end the game as a contest.
09m Carlisle p 0-3
12m Williams t Anscombe c 7-3
23m Carlisle t Carlisle c 7-10
29m Tuculet t 12-10
37m Carlisle p 12-13
49m G Davies 15-13
51m Smith t Davies c 22-13
58m Dacey t Davies c 29-13
61m Minto t Carlisle c 29-20
68m Minto t 29-25
73m Watts-Jones t Davies c 36-25
Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Adam Thomas, 12 Gavin Evans (Isaacs 55), 11 Geraint Walsh (Evans 67), 10 Gareth Anscombe (Davies 40), 9 Lloyd Williams (Knoyle 74), 1 Sam Hobbs (T Davies 51), 2 Kristian Dacey (Williams 73), 3 Adam Jones (Mitchell 46), 4 Filo Paulo (Normandale 51-55, 58), 5 Turnbull, 6 Macauley Cook, 7 Ellis Jenkins (Watts-Jones 70), 8 Josh Navidi

Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Miles Normandale, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Tom Isaacs