Saracens 19 Cardiff Blues 11
Saturday 27 January 2013 Allianz Park
Cardiff Blues took on the Saracens in the newly developed Allianz Park stadium, as Saracens hosted their first game in their new north London home in front of reduced crowd of 3,500 supporters, for the test event match.
Despite the small number of supporters, there was a great atmosphere at the ground ahead of kick off and a huge amount of interest to see the first professional game played on the new artificial turf pitch.
Nils Mordt kicked off before he and Sweeney exchanged penalties early on to make it 3-3 after five minutes. It was Saracens who had dominated territory and possession in the opening quarter of the match but the young Blues side had done well in defence to keep them out.
Mordt did however get a second penalty for the home side to give Saracens a 6-3 lead but a good break from the Blues from their own twenty two saw them put the ball through the hands of Hamilton, Copeland, Evans and Robinson before they won a penalty and opted for the lineout. The Blues wont the ball cleanly and Copeland broke from the back of the line to touch down. Sweeney’s conversion hit the upright.
Half time Saracens 6 Cardiff Blues 8
The second half saw Sam Hobbs shown a yellow card and Mordt put Saracens back in the lead with the simple penalty. The home side had come out looking more purposeful and determined. The Blues did show glimpses of attack with Harry Robinson combining well with Gavin Evans to put Owen Williams in space. The young winger again showed his pace to beat his winger but his kick ahead over the fullback was too strong and went over the dead ball line.
Mordt extended the Saracens lead further with a simple effort with just over an hour of the game gone. The Blues did have a chance to put themselves back in the lead when Copeland, who again was having an excellent game, broke down the right hand side. He only had the Fullback to beat, and drew his man well, but his pass to Owen Williams just went behind the big winger.
The Blues were dealt a further blow when Thomas Young was yellow carded but they did manage to narrow the deficit with a Gareth Davies penalty to bring the score to 12-11 with seven minutes left.
The Blues were shown another yellow, this time to Daf Hewitt, who was deemed to have obstructed a Saracens attack and with three yellow cards in the game the young side had done well to compete for so long.
With the two-man advantage eventually Saracens made it pay when they worked and overlap for James Short to score in the corner and Mordt converting to bring the final score to 19-11.
Cardiff Blues 15. Jason Tovey (68off) 14. Owen Williams 13. Gavin Evans 12. Dafydd Hewitt 11. Harry Robinson 10. Ceri Sweeney (60off) 9. Lewis Jones (75off)
8. Robin Copeland 7. Rory Watts-Jones 6. Luke Hamilton 5. Macauley Cook 4. Michael Paterson 3. Beniot Bourrust (60off) 2. Kristian Dacey (68off) 1. Sam Hobbs (50off)
16. Rhys Williams (68on) 17. Nathan Trevett (50on) 18. Taufa’ao Filise (60on) 19. Cory Hill (75on) 20. Thomas Young (60on) 21 Alex Walker (75on) 22. Gareth Davies (60on) 23. Tom Williams (68on)
Saracens 15 Alex Goode ?14 Joe Maddock? 13 Duncan Taylor? 12 Adam Powell ?11 James Short? 10 Nils Mordt ©? 9 Ben Spencer?
1 Nick Auterac ?2 Jamie George? 3 Carlos Nieto ?4 Eoin Sheriff? 5 Mouritz Botha? 6 Maro Itoje? 7 Nick Fenton-Wells ?8 Tom Jubb??
16 John Smit? 17 Darren Fearn? 18 Petrus du Plessis? 19 Alistair Hargreaves? 20 Justin Melck? 21 Ali Price? 22 Sam Stanley? 23 Jack Wilson
Tries Copeland x 1
Pen Sweeney x 1 Davies x 1
Tries Short x 1
Con Mordt x 1
Pen Mordt x 4
Yellow Cards: Sam Hobbs, Thomas Young, Daf Hewitt