The Cardiff Blues got off to a good start with patient build up and good work by Richard Mustoe latching on to Ceri Sweeney’s kick, with Dafydd Hewitt charging onto the ball nearly resulted in the try, before referee JP Doyle penalised the Blues 4 yards out and Irish cleared.
However, it was London Irish who got the first score with a Tom Homer penalty. The Blues came close again, holding onto the ball well and steadily building to the Irish tryline. However, the ball was knocked on a Irish cleared from the 5 metre scrum. Ceri Sweeney equalled the scores with a 40 metre penalty effort minutes later.
Richard Mustoe was again proving a handful with some powerful runs down the right and they eventually won a penalty and opted to kick for the line out. The Blues again failed to capitalise on territory and knocked the ball on for Irish to clear. It was a frustrating scenario with the Blues having a couple of chances near the London Irish tryline but not being able to get the extra yards to cross it.
London Irish nearly broke away for a try with Peter Richards taking a quick penalty and making 50 yards up field before being hauled down 2 yards short of the tryline.
From the scrum Irish attacked again but the home defence was solid and they eventually won a penalty and Norton Knight cleared.
Peter Hewat kicked another penalty for Irish and despite dominating territory and possession the Blues went it at half time 3 points behind.
Cardiff Blues 3 London Irish 6
The second half started with another long range Peter Hewat effort bringing the score to 3-9. The Blues were also let off the hook when Irish knocked the ball on only yards from the Blues tryline.
Ceri Sweeney kicked a goal to narrow the deficit. Then the Blues then broke away for a superb try when Deiniol Jones picked up a loose ball and fed Ceri Sweeney. He passed on to Richie Rees who sprinted past 4 of his old team mates to touch down in the corner for his first try of the season and give the Blues the lead for the first time in the match.
It was a lacklustre second half with all the intensity of an episode of Heartbeat, with neither team looking like creating much. However, Lamb regained the lead for London Irish with a 40 yard penalty that gave Irish the lead despite a last minute long range Ceri Sweeney effort that just drifted wide.
15 Sam Norton-Knight 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gareth Thomas 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Richie Rees
1Taufa'ao Filise 2 Gareth Williams 45off 3 Gary Powell 70off 4 Deiniol Jones 60off 5 Scott Morgan 6 Ben White 7 Josh Navidi 8 Xavier Rush (Captain)
16 T Rhys Thomas 45on 17 Sam Hobbs 70off 18 Scott Andrews 19 James Down 60on 20 Chris Dicomidis 21 Darren Allinson 22 Gavin Evans 23 Ben Blair
15 Tom Homer 14. Peter Hewat 13. Jonathan Joseph 12. Charlie Gower 11. John Rudd 10 Chris Malone 9. Peter Richards (C)
1 Clarke Dermody 2. David Paice 3. Alex Corbisiero 4. Gary Johnson 5. Andy Perry 6. Kieran Roche 7. Steffon Armitage 8. Richard Thorpe
16. James Buckland 17. Dan Murphy 18. Max Lahiff 19. Matt Garvey 20. Jon Fisher 21. Marcus Watson 22. Mike Catt 23. Ryan Lamb
Referee JP Doyle
Try Rees x 1
Penalty Sweeney x 2
Penalty Tom Homer x 1 Peter Hewatt x 2 Lamb x 1