CardiffBlues 22 Connacht 6
Thursday 30 September 7.05pm kick off
The half started with Connacht looking threatening and a great breakaway by Fionn Carr saw Connacht go all the way into the Blues twenty two, before Halfpenny did well to track back and tackle to halt the danger.
Ian Keatley and Parks traded penalties before Parks put the Blues ahead with a 40 yard effort and a neatly taken drop goal soon after.
Connacht’s defence was proving to be very stubborn and with 25 minutes gone the Blues still hadn’t hit their stride. Again, Connacht broke away following the ball being spilled by the Blues and again it was Halfpenny who tracked back to save the day.
It took and individual piece of brilliance by Casey Laulala for the only try of the match. Parks passed on the ball and Laulala threw a dummy before stepping inside the fullback and touching down. Parks converted.
Half time Cardiff Blues 16 Connacht 3
Ian Keatley slotted another penalty for Connacht early on but the Blues soon put a good move together with the backs shipping the ball wide to Czekaj who chipped on and forced Duffy over the try line. The Blues looked to build on great field position but Parks’ drop goal was charged down and Connacht cleared.
The move summed up the game so far for the Blues. It was a frustrating evening where the Blues failed to create many chances.
Parks again kicked another penalty from 45 yards out to extend the lead to 19-6 but there was still no flair in the game and errors were starting to creep in with passes going astray.
Halfpenny this time kicked a penalty from his own half to bring the final score to 22-6 in what was a disappointing performance. However the Blues can take encouragement from a playing badly and still winning.
CardiffBlues 15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Casey Laulala (74off) 12 Dafydd Hewitt (40off) 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Dan Parks 9 Gareth Cooper (76off)
8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Sam Warburton 6 Michael Paterson (57off) 5 Deiniol Jones (63off) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Tafa’ao Filise (63on) 2 Rhys Williams (74off) 1 John Yapp (63off)
16 Kristian Dacey (74off) 17 Gethin Jenkins (63on) 18 Scott Andrews (63on) 19 Paul Tito (63on) 20 Andries Pretorius (57on) 21 Kristian Baller (76on) 22 Ceri Sweeney (74on) 23 Tom Shanklin (40on)
Connacht 15 Gavin Duffy 14 Troy Nathan 13 Niva Ta’auso 12 Keith Matthews 11 Fionn Carr 10 Ian Keatley 9 Frank Murphy (C)
8 Mike McComish 7 Ray Ofisa 6 Michael McCarthy 5 Andrew Browne 4 Michael Swift 3 Jamie Hagan 2 Adrian Flavin 1 Brett Wilkinson
16 Dermot Murphy 17 Ronan Loughney 18 Rob Sweeney 19 Bernie Upton 20 Johnny O’Connor 21 Cillian Willis 22 Miah Nikora 23 Darragh Fanning
Tries Laulala x 1
Con Parks x 1
Pens Parks x 3 Halfpenny x 1
DG Parks x 1
Pens Keatley x 2
Referee Andy McPherson