Cardiff Blues 11 Leinster 3
Saturday 19 February 2011
The best chance of the opening sequence saw Tom Slater gather a Leinster chip and feed Tom James, who passed on the ball to Hewitt, to continue the move into the Leinster twenty two. The Blues recycled quickly and spread the ball right where Mustoe nearly squeezed in at the corner.
The home side were looking to spread the ball whenever possible but Leinster’s defence was stubborn with some big hits stopping the Blues in their tracks. Eventually the score came through a Ceri Sweeney penalty.
Leinster also looked to gain territory into the Blues twenty-two, but Dan Fish at fullback was having an assured game, kicking the ball back with interest.
The Bleus did have a try scoring opportunity with Gavin Evans putting in a beautifully timed pass to put Mustore through, who again nearly scored in the corner. However, he was held short and the Blues couldn’t capitalise on the pressure and Leinster cleared.
The Blues, however, did get the score from some slick hands by Martyn Williams. They won a lineout 10 metres out and drove from the ruck, Slater passed to Williams who in one move gathered the ball and passed on to Fish to touch down in the corner. Sweeney hit the upright with the conversion.
Isa Nacewa was proving to a threat late in the first half, gathering his own chip and gaining good ground, but the Blues cleared. Eventually Nacewa got the visitors first points with a penalty having missed two earlier attempts.
Half time Cardiff Blues 8 Leinster 3
Leinster started the second half strongly with a long period of pressure on the Blues try-line, however, eventually they knocked on and the Blues cleared from the scrum.
It was an entertaining match with both teams playing some attractive rugby. The Blues looked to have scored a second through Martyn Williams but Mr Damasco deemed the last pass forward and called them back for a scrum. As David Young had said before the match, the Blues were getting opportunities but not nailing them.
It was another tense end to a game with 10 minutes left and only a five point margin, with Leinster putting the pressure on the Blues and keeping them pinned back in their half.
A late Ceri Sweeney penalty moved the score to 11-3 securing the win and preventing Leinster picking up a losing bonus point which could be crucial come the end of the season.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gavin Evans 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James (70off) 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Tom Slater (78off)
8 Xavier Rush (65off) 7 Martyn Williams 6 Andries Pretorius 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Fau Filise (60on) 2 Gareth Williams 1 John Yap
16 Rhys Williams 17 Sam Hobbs 18 Scott Andrews (60on) 19 Ben White 20 Ma'ama Molitika (65on) 21 Rhys Downes (78on) 22 Dan Parks 23 James Loxton (70on)
Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa 14 Andrew Conway 13 Eoin O'Malley 12 Eamonn Sheridan 11 Niall Morris 10 Ian McKinley 9 Isaac Boss
8 Rhys Ruddock 7 Dominic Ryan 6 Kevin McLaughlin 5 Devin Toner 4 Leo Cullen (c) 3 Clint Newland 2 Richardt Strauss 1 Heinke van der Merwe
16 Jason Harris-Wright 17 Jack McGrat 18 Stan Wright 19 Nathan Hines 20 Stephen Keogh 21 Eoin Reddan 22 Ian Madigan 23 Michael Keating
Tries Fish x 1
Pen Sweeney x 2
Pen Nacewa x 1
Referee: Carlo Damasco