Cardiff Blues 24 Montpellier 35
Sunday 9 December 12.45pm kick off
The Blues were dealt a blow ahead of the match with the news that Sam Warburton had withdrawn from the squad due to a chest infection. Navidi switched to openside, Copeland went to blindside and Luke Hamilton came onto the bench.
Montpellier kicked off and the Blues, starting well, showed some nice interplay between forwards and backs before winning a penalty that Patchell slotted on his Heineken Cup starting debut.
Despite both teams looking to spread the ball whenever possible, with the conditions ideal for running rugby, it was a kicking battle for the points. Benoit Paillaugue soon equalised with a well-taken long range effort before, following a Blues attack in the opposition's twenty two, Patchell put the Blues ahead once more with an easy penalty.
The Blues were penalised in the scrum when it looked like Montpellier had popped up and Paillaugue levelled the scores before Patchell again put the Blues ahead.
It was nip and tuck on the scoreboard and much to the dismay of the Blues fans Lloyd Williams was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle in the 25th minutes and Paillaugue put the points on the board to make it nine all. A Patchell drop goal put the Blues back ahead, but, with a man advantage Montpellier were always looking dangerous. Having worked their way into the Blues twenty-two they eventually made the numbers count, spreading the ball wide left for Audrin to score. Pillaugue converted.
Patchell again scored a long-range effort but Pillaugue slotted a further penalty to make it 15-19 on the break.
Half time Cardiff Blues 15 Montpellier 19
The Blues made a change at half time with Lewis Jones coming on for Tovey and the second half started with another long distance Patchell penalty.
The visitors looked to score a try after Berard intercepted as the Blues looked to spread the ball but Patchell showed great speed to catch him. Montpellier recycled and as they went to spread it left, Audrin looked to be the man extra on the wing, but Gorgodze’s one handed pass went forward.
Patchell was having an outstanding game for the Blues, controlling things well at outside half, but it was Paillaugue who extended the lead for Montpellier with a simple effort to put them 18-22 up with twenty minutes left.
Eventually the Frenchman scored their second try when they worked their way left and Gorgodze touched down in the corner. Patchell slotted two penalties to keep the Blues in the game and with eight minutes left the score stood at 24-27. However, again Paillaugue got one back and a late Nagusa try secured the win for Montpellier.
Cardiff Blues 15 Jason Tovey (40off) 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Gavin Evans 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Harry Robinson (66off) 10 Rhys Patchell 9 Lloyd Williams
8 Andries Pretorius (c) 7 Josh Navidi 6 Robin Copeland (66off) 5 James Down 4 Lou Reed 3 Scott Andrews (63off) 2 Marc Breeze (57off) 1 Sam Hobbs (57off)
16 Rhys Wiliams (57on) 17 Tafa’ao Filise (57on) 18 Benoit Bourrust (63on) 19 Macauley Cook 20 Luke Hamilton (66on) 21 Lewis Jones (40on) 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Owen Williams (66on)
Montpellier 15 Benjamin Thiery 14 Pierre Berard 13 Thomas Combezou 12 Paul Bosch 11 Yoan Audrin 10 Santiago Fernandez 9 Benoit Paillaugue
8 John Beattie 7 Mamuka Gorgodze (c) 6 Alexandre Bias 5 Aliki Fakate 4 Drikus Hancke 3 Maximiliano Bustos 2 Agustin Creevy 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
16 Erasmus Van Vuuren17 Yvan Watremez 18 Barry Fa'amausili 19 Mickael De Marco 20 Kelian Galletier 21 Eric Escande 22 Shontayne Hape 23 Timoci Nagusa
Pen Patchell x 7
D/G Patchell x 1
Tries Audrin x 1 Gorfdze x 1 Nagusa x 1
Con Paillaugue x 1
Pen Paillaugue x 5
Red Card: Lloyd Williams