Cardiff Blues 58 Connacht 0
Friday 26 September Cardiff Arms Park 7.05pm kick off
The Blues got off to a great start with an early penalty for Sweeney. A quick penalty minutes later by Jason Spice in his own half, saw the Kiwi release Jamie Roberts, who sprinted through the gap between the centres to touch down after only five minutes. Sweeney converted.
Connacht did have a brief period of attack with the Blues missing some tackles, which eventually lead to a penalty that Dunne slotted wide.
The Blues looked to have scored a superb try, spreading the ball through the backs, with Jamie Roberts eventually touching down, only for the ref to call them back for a forward pass back on the halfway line.
The Blues did however get the breakthrough minutes later. Superb play saw them pass the ball around like the Harlem Globetrotters, with each supporting runner latch onto the ball and gaining yards. Eventually Molitika gave the try-scoring pass to Sweeney who touched down under the posts.
Connacht were also proving to be good value, throwing the ball around, and Dunne looked dangerous at outside half with a great break from his own half into the Blues twenty two.
Jason Spice showed his class on the next try. Deiniol Jones won the line out and the ball went out to Roberts who crashed his way through the centre. Spice gathered the pass and threw some dummies before throwing a long pass put to Halfpenny who raced in for the score.
Halfpenny doubled his tally a minute later. The ball reached him on the left wing from the base of a ruck and the youngster showed his gas to sprint in and touch down under the posts. Sweeney converted.
Rhys Thomas got the next try just before half time. From the line out the hooker peeled around and sprinted down the blindside to touch down. There was however enough time for two more tries in the half. The backs worked the ball well to the wing where Halfpenny passed to Gareth Thomas. The former Welsh captain had the pace and the power to finish the move crashing over the line and taking two defenders with him. Minutes later Molitika got another when he crashed through and scored.
Half time Cardiff Blues 46 Connacht 0
The Blues made two half time changes with Rush having his first run out of the season and young Academy Hooker Rhys Williams coming on to the field.
It wasnt long before they got the first try of the second half with Sweeney gathering and touching down for the 8th of the night. Halfpenny was also on fire, terrorising the opposition with his kicking and pace, putting huge pressure on the Connacht defence.
The Blues nearly got the ninth when Sweeny cut through the defence and held up the ball well before passing to Alfie. He was unlucky as he tried to hold onto the ball while crossing the tryline. Unfortunately the ball was knocked on.
With a number of substitutions the game lost its shape somewhat but it was still an entertaining spectacle and the Blues always looked to move the ball, however unfortunately the moves didnt always come off.
Despite the huge lead the Blues still looked to attack. Gareth Thomas broke from deep inside his own twenty two and was ably supported by Shanklin who passed out to Scott Morgan on the halfway line. Unfortunately the promising move broke down and the Blues seemed to be stuck on 51 points.
It was Connacht who nearly got the next score. Fionn Carr showing good speed to round his man before the move broke down with a Connacht knockon on the tryline in the corner.
15 Leigh Halfpenny 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Jamie Robinson (53off) 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Gareth Thomas 10 Ceri Sweeney (58off) 9 Jason Spice (35off) 8 Andy Powell (42off) 7 Robin Sowden Taylor 6 Maama Molitika (40off) 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell (64off) 2 T. Rhys Thomas (40off) 1 John Yapp 16 Taufaao Filise (64on) 17 Rhys Williams (40on) 18 Scott Morgan (42on) 19 Xavier Rush (40on) 20 Richie Rees (35on) 21 Nicky Robinson (58on) 22 Tom Shanklin (53on)
Referee Carlo Damasco (Italy) Touch Judges Neil Ballard, Leighton Hodges TMO Nigel Whitehouse
Tries Roberts x 1 Sweeney x 2 Halfpenny x 2 T R Thomas G Thomas x1 Molitika x 1
Con Sweeney x 4 Robinson x 1
Pen Sweeney x 1