Cardiff Blues 29 - 20 Glasgow Warriors
Fri 06 December 20:00 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 6,144 Ref: George Clancy Heineken Cup

Cardiff Blues 29 Glasgow Warriors 20

Fri 6 Dec 2013 21:01 Cardiff Blues 29 Glasgow Warriors 20
After the drama of the epic win over champions Toulon last time out, the Blues knew only a win would be good enough as they looked to move to the top of Pool 2.

A flying start saw returning fly half ace Rhys Patchell scored a first half try as the home produced a sublime opening half hour to power into a 16-0 lead. A response from Sean Maitland on the stroke of half-time gave Glasgow hope.

The second half saw the Scots work hard to make up the difference with Duncan Weir’s boot proving an asset as they ate away at the lead.

But an intercept try from wing star Alex Cuthbert had the Arms Park rocking and even a late consolation score from replacement Leone Nakarawa could not dampen the spirits as Blues secured another heroic European win.

Glasgow arrived full of confidence after an impressive start to the season in the RaboDirect PRO12 and hit the floor running in the opening minutes.

DTH Van Der Merwe made a powerful break down the middle and Harry Robinson was put under pressure by a high bomb kick as the visitors played with pace and real invention.

But Blues hit back as a superb break from Macauley Cook, after Blues disrupted and turned over the ball on the floor, saw him gallop down the middle as the Arms Park found its voice.

The back row looked to draw the final man and feed Alex Cuthbert on his wing, but a brilliant cover tackle from Van Der Merwe stopped the Blues flier near the touchline.

Referee George Clancy had seen an infringement and back came play resulting in the first penalty attempt from Halfpenny that the full back pushed in front of the posts from the right touchline.

Another penalty, for going over the top of the ball at the breakdown, gave Halfpenny another shot at goal from closer in, minutes later. This time the Lions ace made no mistake to open the scoring.

Back came Glasgow and they looked to the forwards to rumble up close to the line before knocking on and sparking a flying break by the Blues from deep.

The ball was spun through the hands and Patchell broke clear before the ball found centre duo Dafydd Hewitt and Richard Smith. Cuthbert then arrived on the scene and showed his electric pace before kicking in behind.

The race was on to the free ball and after Maitland made a mess of picking up loose possession on the floor, Cuthbert made the ground first, but unfortunately saw the ball knocked loose as he looked to ground it under pressure from Alex Dunbar.

A burst of pace from Robinson sparked another attack from long range and, when Glasgow played the ball on the floor, up stepped Patchell and he smashed a 55-metre penalty over to edge Blues further ahead.

Blues were really impressing at the breakdown as Sam Hobbs stole ball before more thrilling attacking play which saw Robin Copeland and Hewitt join forces to free Cuthbert whose reverse pass gave Smith a dart for the line.

A knock on, under little pressure, from Glasgow fly half Duncan Weir gave Blues a five-metre scrum to attack from. The forwards duly went to work with a series of short bursts around the fringes before Cuthbert bashed up close and Patchell picked a gap to burst over the line to score and open up a 13-0 lead.

The home side were playing some really intelligent rugby as they kept the ball alive and picked good options to break tackles and make hard yards down the middle.

More forward pressure punched holes as Kristian Dacey and Chris Dicomidis worked hard before Lloyd Williams put in a sublime chip to force Stuart Hogg to pick up before being bundled into touch by Robinson.

Another penalty, as Glasgow’s frustration at the breakdown started to boil over, gave Halfpenny another opportunity and he made no mistake to send Blues even further ahead.

A rare mistake from the hosts, as they kicked out on the full, gave Glasgow an attacking platform with four minutes of the half left. The lineout was thrown long and Blues almost broke away as a huge overlap went to waste as it was spilled.

Glasgow took advantage of the reprieve as they kept the ball alive and when they went wide left at real pace, it was the elusive Maitland who danced his way over to cut the lead to 16-7 at the interval.

The Scottish side came out firing at the start of the second half keen to build on their late first half try and Blues had to work hard to keep the defensive wall intact as the visitors ran hard and strong.

Williams made a snipping break into space but could not find support runners before Patchell tried an ambitious long range drop goal that pulled up short.

Hogg looked to run the ball back from deep, but he was isolated and as the forwards pounced he gave away a penalty. Halfpenny lined up the resulting kick and made no mistake for the hosts.

Glasgow continued to look to breakdown Blues with fast attacking lines; when Maitland hit one at pace he was pulled down but it was the home side that were penalised for not releasing. Weir lined up the resulting penalty from wide right and drilled it over.

Errors were starting to creep in from both sides as the tension grew inside the Arms Park but it was Glasgow who looked to grow in confidence as again they came close to a second try as they almost found a gap on the left wing.

A five-metre scrum to Glasgow left home fans disgruntled as they felt the Warriors had knocked on in the build-up.

A thundering hit from the restart from Hewitt rocked Weir back and won the hosts the ball back. But after consulting the TMO, the penalty then went to Glasgow and the lead was cut to six points.

Back came Blues as Patchell broke the line and fed Smith who cut back in field and bowled over his opposite number with a handoff, before Filo Paulo looked to send Cuthbert into space down the right touchline.

Cuthbert almost made a cross field kick from Patchell work as he tipped back for Paulo to take into contact, before Halfpenny looked to scoop up a grubber from Dicomidis.

A penalty for side entry at a driving lineout gave Halfpenny another kick at goal from wide right. Once more the full back made no mistake to extend the lead to 22-13 with nine minutes left.

The game was ended on 73 minutes as Cuthbert intercepted inside his own 22 and ran from inside his own half before handing off Ruaridh Jackson and blasting over to a thunderous ovation.

Despites Glasgow’s best efforts, a consolation try at the death from replacement Nakarawa did nothing to stop another electric Heineken Cup performance from the Cardiff Blues.


12m Halfpenny p 3-0

16m Patchell p 6-0

21m Patchell t Halfpenny c 13-0

32m Halfpenny p 16-0

39m Maitland t Weir c 16-7

47m Halfpenny p 19-7

53m Weir p 19-10

63m Weir p 19-13

71m Halfpenny p 22-13

73m Cuthbert t Halfpenny c 29-13

78m Nakarawa t Weir c 29-20

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson (Fish 64), 10 Rhys Patchell (Davies 77), 9 Lloyd Williams (Jones 74); 1 Sam Hobbs (Davies 77), 2 Kristian Dacey (Breeze 77), 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Macauley Cook (Hamilton 77), 7 Rory Watts-Jones (Jenkins 75), 8 Robin Copeland

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dan Fish