Cardiff Blues 25 Edinburgh 8
Friday 9 December 8.00pm kick off
Edinburgh kicked off the crucial match and the Blues were under pressure early on with Edinburgh keeping hold of the ball and pinning the home side back in their own half. The Blues also weren’t helping themselves with some aimless kicking and kicks being charged down. However, it was the Blues who got on the scoreboard first with Dan Parks slotting a drop goal, but Laidlaw soon equalised with a simple penalty.
Edinburgh were dominating territory and possession and whenever the Blues did manage to clear the pressure but it was only for a short while. Despite the pressure some resilient Blues defence kept them out and it was still 3-3 after 30 minutes. By the end of the half the Blues were picking it up a bit with some good runs by Laulala, Roberts and Warburton testing the visitors defence. There was just enough time for Parks to slot a penalty.
Half time Cardiff Blues 6 Edinburgh 3
The Blues started the second have with higher intensity. Jenkins, Tito and Filise combined well to put Warburton into space to break into the Edinburgh twenty two. Eventually the pressure told on Edinburgh and the Blues were awarded a penalty that Parks converted.
The score seemed to lift the Blues players and crowd and again they moved into the Edinburgh twenty two through a Laulala run. Again they were awarded a penalty that Parks converted. Parks soon added another to give the Blues a twelve point cushion.
Edinburgh reacted to the score and spent a period putting the Blues under pressure in their won twenty two. However, the defence stood firm and eventually Visser knocked on, but the Blues failed to clear the pressure from the scrum. Visser made amends for his earlier mistake when Edinburgh spread the ball right and the big Dutchman slipped a pass to fellow wing Lee Jones to score in the corner. Laidlaw was wide with the conversion.
The Blues struck back instantly with Cuthbert going on a strong run, ably supported by Roberts, into the Scottish side’s twenty two allowing Parks to drop another goal.
It was a long wait, but the try came in the 73rd minute. Scott Andrews intercepted the ball 50 yards out and had nobody in front of him and the tryline. He did well to sprint into the Edinburgh twenty two before looking for support, and passing to Warburton who unselfishly passed to Cuthbert to touch down to secure the win. Parks converted.
Tries Cuthbert x 1
Pen Parks x 4
Con Parks x 1
D/G Parks x 2
Tries Jones x 1
Pen Laidlaw x 1
Cardiff Blues 15 Leigh Halfpenny (75off) 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Dan Parks 9 Lloyd Williams
8 Xavier Rush 7 Sam Warburton (75off) 6 Michael Paterson 5 Paul Tito (c) (75off) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufa’ao Filise (60off) 2 T Rhys Thomas (67off) 1 Gethin Jenkins
16 Ryan Tyrell (67on) 17 John Yapp 18 Scott Andrews (60on) 19 Maama Molitika (75on) 20 Josh Navidi (75on) 21 Richie Rees 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Gavin Evans (75on)
Edinburgh 15 Chris Paterson 14 Lee Jones 13 Nick De Luca 12 James King 11 Tim Visser 10 Harry Leonard 9 Greig Laidlaw (c)
1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Ross Ford 3 Geoff Cross 4 Sean Cox 5 Esteban Lozada 6 David Denton 7 Roddy Grant 8 Stuart McInally
16 Steve Lawrie 17 Kyle Traynor 18 Jack Gilding 19 Steven Turnbull 20 Ross Rennie 21 Mike Blair 22 John Houston 23 Tom Brown