Cardiff Blues 20 - 29 Leinster
Sun 07 March 16:00 Cardiff City Stadium Att: 9,384 Ref: Andy Macpherson Celtic League

Cardiff Blues 20 Leinster 29

Sun 7 Mar 2010 18:04 Cardiff Blues 20 Leinster 29
Leinster were awarded a penalty early on but McFadden was short with his long range effort, Blair also missed an easier effort minutes later for the Blues.

It was first blood to Leinster as they latched on to a loose ball and Berne did well to release Nacewa who fed McLaughlin. The big blindside flanker coming to within inches of the Blues try-line. Eventually the score came as Leinster spread the ball right and McFadden was on hand again to dive over under the posts. He also added the conversion.

The Blues however were looking dangerous with Laulala making space for Tom James, who was showing his power and pace down the right wing. A good move by the Blues almost turned into disaster when Keogh picked up another stray ball and McFadden broke away into the Blues twenty two with Laulala doing exceptionally well to track back and tackle him. The Blues conceded a penalty that McFadden again converted.

The Blues struck back in the 20th minute when Shanklin did well to take the ball up field. The Blues eventually spread it right with Sweeney throwing along pass to Scott Morgan who did well to pass on to Gary Powell to power over in the corner. Blair was wide with the conversion.

Always looking to run the ball, the Blues however were proving to be their own worst enemies, whenever they broke they lacked composure, and were throwing stray passes that Leinster were gathering and running back into the Blues half.

When they kept their composure the home side looked good and got their second try through a well worked effort. From a lineout 5 yards out the Blues spread the ball with Shanklin powering through the midfield. From the ruck Filise took the ball on before slipping the pass to Warburton to crash over. Blair converted. McFadden converted a further penalty to bring the score to 12-16.

Half time Cardiff Blues 12 Leinster 16

The Blues lifted the tempo straight from the restart with Shanklin gathering the ball and the Blues recycling well. They eventually moved the ball right then left, where Scott Morgan again did well to beat his man and put Czekaj in at the corner. Again Blair missed the kick.

It was Leinster who got the next score when McFadden broke through the midfield and released Jackman to sprint in from 20 yards. McFadden again added the conversion. The Blues were dealt a further blow when Ceri Sweeney was yellow carded for an alleged spear tackle and with less that 10 minutes left the Blues were trailing by 6 points. Berne dropped a goal after Leinster had been camped on the Blues try line for 5 minutes and with the seconds ticking away the Blues opted for a penalty that Sweeney converted. However McFadden slotted a penalty with the last kick of the game to deny the blues a losing bonus point.

Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 66off 14 Tom James 13 Casey Laulala 12 Tom Shanklin 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Gareth Cooper 55off

8 Xavier Rush 7 Sam Warburton 55off 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Scott Morgan 66off 3 Gary Powell 76off 2 T Rhys Thomas 27off 66off 1 Taufa'ao Filise

16 Huw Dowden (Pontypridd) 27on 66on 17 Scott Andrews (G Wanderers) 76on 18 Andries Pretorius 66on 19 Andy Powell 55on 20 Lloyd Williams (G Wanderers) 55on 21 Sam Norton-Knight 66on 22 Dafydd Hewitt

Leinster 15 Girvan Dempsey 14 Andrew Conway 13 Eoin O'Malley 12 Fergus McFadden 11 Isa Nacewa 10 Shaun Berne 9 Eoin Reddan

8 Stephen Keogh 7 Shane Jennings (c) 6 Kevin McLaughlin 5 Malcolm O'Kelly 4 Devin Toner 3 CJ van der Linde 2 Bernard Jackman 1 Stan Wright

16 Richardt Strauss 17 Mike Ross 18 Trevor Hogan 19 Rhys Ruddock 20 Paul O'Donohoe 21 Ian Madigan 22 Simon Keogh

Referee: Andy Macpherson
Yellow Cards: Ceri Sweeney

Cardiff Blues

Tries G Powell x 1 Warburton x 1 Czekaj x 1
Pen Sweeney x 1
Con Blair x 1


Tries McFadden x 1 Jackman x 1
Pen McFadden x 3
Con McFadden x 2
D/G Berne x 1