Cardiff Blues 26 Leicester Tigers 26 AET
Sunday 3 May 3.00pm kick off Heineken Cup, Millennium Stadium
The sun was shining on the Millennium Stadium when the Heineken Cup semi final match kicked off, and it started at a great pace.
The Tigers started well progressing into the Blues twenty two, however, when the Blues did get the ball they looked dangerous with Tom James showing his pace, beating two defenders and working his way into the Leicester half.
However, the Blues were dealt a blow with Paul Tito forced to leave the field with a rib injury 10 minutes into the game. Blair slotted a penalty for the Blues to give them an early lead but Leicester struck back.
Toby Flood cut through the mid field and fed Scott Hamilton who had the pace to touch down under the posts with Dupuy converting.
Dupuy slotted a penalty before Blair matched in minutes later, and following some verbal abuse by the Leicester players the Blues were awarded another penalty on the halfway line that Halfpenny coolly slotted.
There was still time for Dupuy to kick another goal to give the Tigers a 12-13 lead at half time. Half Time Cardiff Blues 12 Leicester Tigers 13
The Tigers got off to the better restart with Flood once again involved. Having worked their way in to the Blues twenty two Flood slipped a pass to Murphy who crashed over under the posts. Dupuy converted and the score was 12-20.
Dupuy added another two penalties and the Blues looked in trouble trailing by 14 points with juts over 10 minutes to go.
Amazingly the Blues werent out of it. They carried the ball strongly through inspirational number 8 Xavier Rush with the rest of the forwards following and came to within a yard of the tryline before the move was stopped illegally by Craig Newby who was sent to the sin bin for killing the ball.
Murphy soon followed him after deliberately knocking on the ball when the Blues were again close to the tryline.
The Blues made the most of the numerical advantage with Robinson finding Roberts in midfield. The big centre still had a lot to do but pinned his ears back and sprinted for the corner to touch down. Blair coolly slotted the conversion and the Blues new they were still in the game.
They scored almost instantly from the restart, with Roberts again showing his speed and strength, breaking tackles before feeding Tom James on the wing. The flying Merthyr man showed true pace to sprint all the way from his own half to touch down in the same corner.
Blair again showed nerves of steel to slot the conversion and the Blues had fought back to level the scores in normal time. Full Time Cardiff Blues 26 Leicester Tigers 26 Extra time
The match went into extra time but neither side looked like scoring with Johne Murphy and Aaron Mauger attempted drop goals not hitting the mark. In a first for the Heineken Cup the scores were still level after extra time. Penalty shoot out
Blair, Dupuy, Robinson, Sam Vesty, Halfpenny, Geordan Murphy and Ceri Sweeney all converted, before Johne Murphy's miss gave the Blues a chance to win it. Tom James stepped up but hooked it wide.
Hamilton, Shanklin, Mauger, Richie Rees and Newby kept the shoot-out going but Martyn Williams hooked his effort wide allowing Leicester number eight Jordan Crane to kick the winning goal and put his team in the final.
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Tom Shanklin 2 Jamie Roberts (99off) 11 Tom James 10 Nicky Robinson 9 Richie Rees 8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Maama Molitika (60off) 5 Paul Tito (c) (9off) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufaao Filise (80off) 2 Gareth Williams 1 Gethin Jenkins 16 John Yapp (80on) 17 T Rhys Thomas 18 Deiniol Jones (9on) 19 Andy Powell (60on) 20 Darren Allinson 21 Ceri Sweeney (99on) 22 Gareth Thomas
Tries Robeerts x 1 James x 1
Penalties Blair x 2 Halfpenny x 2
Conversions Blair x 2
Tries G Murphy x 1 Hamilton x 1
Penalties Dupuy x 4
Conversions Dupuy x 2