Cardiff Blues 29 - 19 Lyon
Fri 13 October 19:00 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 5,691 Ref: Frank Murphy European Challenge Cup

Cardiff Blues 29 Lyon 19

Fri 13 Oct 2017 21:05 Cardiff Blues 29 Lyon 19
Following last week’s derby triumph over the Dragons, the Blues turned their attention to cup competition and a formidable test against France’s Top14 leaders Lyon at Cardiff Arms Park.
And they secured a second consecutive bonus-point win in all competitions in an encounter they never looked like losing.
The home side led 14-0 at the break following tries from George Earle and Tomos Williams. They stretched that further thanks to Macauley Cook and Rey Lee-Lo secured maximum points following a Virgile Bruni try.
Next up in Europe the Blues face four-time Heineken Cup champions Toulouse, who sit second in the Top14, at the Stade Ernest Wallon.
Cardiff Blues made a flying start at the Arms Park and dominated the early exchanges both in terms of territory and possession.
They displayed a real willingness to attack, stretching the French heavyweights from side to side with Blaine Scully, Alex Cuthbert and Rey Lee-Lo all prominent.
However for all their endeavour, the Blues, playing in their new European kit, were unable break the Lyon defence despite coming close on several occasions.
Jarrod Evans had the opportunity to open the scoring shortly after the 10-minute mark but he fired the simple penalty and minutes later opted for the corner.
The lineout was won and Cardiff Blues drove the giant French back but were ground to a halt agonisingly short and were unable to get the ball back.
It was not until 15-minutes that Lyon finally entered the Blues half and alarm bells were quickly ringing thanks to their speed of ball and sizeable Fijian wings.
But on every occasion Cardiff Blues defended bravely, twice forcing knock-ons thanks to Matthew Morgan’s commitment.
Danny Wilson’s side were once again on the attack soon after and threatened when Tomos Williams went on the loop and fired an audacious reverse pass to release Morgan.
The electric full-back beat two men but he could not do enough to beat a third as another attack petered out.
However, the hard work paid off when Earle powered over for his first Cardiff Blues try following another sustained period of pressure.
Evans added the extras and he was back at the tee on the half-hour mark after scrum-half Williams finished a stunning counter-attack.
The move started when Lyon coughed up possession when returning a Blues clearance. Matthew Rees slung a long miss-pass to the left and Evans, displaying great authority, jumped for the ball at pace.
He drew the defence superbly to create a three on two, with Garyn Smith releasing Blaine Scully down the left.
The American international still had the full-back to beat but Williams was running a classic scrum-half support line to receive a simple scoring pass.
Evans was once again on target to make it 14-0 and while the Blues continued to press the scores remained unchanged at the break.
The home side could, and really should, have stretched their advantage further within minutes of the second-half getting underway, with Lee-Lo claiming an excellent intercept but then losing the ball over the try-line unopposed.
Smith, who had been combining excellently with the Samoan all game, was the next to intercept and he found Olly Robinson in support.
The openside, who is on a short-term loan from Bristol, just about got his finger tips to the ball but he was hauled down short.
Cardiff Blues continued to turn the screw and they got their reward on 50 minutes when Lee-Lo made amends for his earlier mistake with a superb slight of hand to put Cook over with a flick pass just as he took contact.
Evans’ conversion drifted marginally wide of the right post but the Blues were now 19-0 to the good and pushing for a bonus-point.
Lyon claimed their first points of the encounter on 57 minutes. Capitalising on Kristian Dacey’s yellow card for an early tackle, they kicked to the corner and rumbled forward with Virgile Bruni crashing over the whitewash.
Piero Dominguez, son Italy legend Diego Dominguez, bisected the uprights to bring the scores to 19-7.
With Dacey in the bin and Matthew Rees unable to return at hooker, the scrums became uncontested for a period and they soon wrapped up the bonus-point.
Lee-Lo, desperate to make further amends for his earlier fumble, sliced through the Lyon defence for a deserved try in a fine performance.
Following an extended delay in proceedings as Anton Peikrishvili received treatment, the French visitors struck for their second try through Pierre-Louis Barassi despite what appeared to be a knock-on in the process.
The Blues continued to press in the closing stages with Lyon conceding a pair of yellow cards and Steve Shingler keeping the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty.

Lyon scored their third of the evening when a long pass found Jone Tuva in space out wide to narrow the home side's lead to ten points.