The match kicked off with both teams looking for a win to book their place in the Magners League play off. It was Munster who had the first try scoring chance of the evening, when Nick Williams popped up from the bottom of a ruck with Blair doing well to shepherd him into touch only 20 yards out.
Blair missed with two penalty attempts before it was third time lucky in the 15th minute. However O’Gara soon levelled with his first opportunity for points.
The game was opening up with both teams looking to spread the ball before the Blues got the first try when Jamie Roberts powered over from close range following some good build up work. Blair added the conversion.
However, Munster were starting to dominate territory and O’Gara slotted three further penalties to put them ahead at the break.
Half time Cardiff Blues 10 Munster 12
The match seemed to lack urgency, which suited Munster, as they looked to gain territory and then keep the ball tight. It was hardly a gripping encounter but with Horan sent to the bin the Blues looked to capitalise.
From a scrum Rush picked and carried strongly, ably assisted by Molitika who slipped the ball to Sweeney who did well to take the ball on and take three men out. However, when they looked to spread the ball after recycling they failed to make the most of their position and Stringer cleared.
The Blues were lucky not to concede another try when O’Gara broke through the midfield and slipped a neat pass to De Villiers who looked to be in. However, Peter Allen called them back for a forward pass. Minutes later, Hewitt had a chance when Martyn Williams did superbly to round his man and put in a neat grubber but the powerful centre didn’t quite have the gas to get to the ball first.
The game seemed to fizzle out and with the news that Edinburgh had scored 4 tries out in Dublin, it became largely irrelevant and unlikely that the Blues would score 3 tries and record a bonus point win with only 10 minutes left. However, Halfpenny stepped up and slotted a long distance penalty to ensure the Blues win but it wasn’t enough o book a place in the play offs.
Cardiff Blues15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Chris Czekaj (30off) 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Darren Allinson 62off
8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Maama Molitika 74off 5 Paul Tito (c) 54off 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Scott Andrews 72off 2 T Rhys Thomas 54off 1 Gethin Jenkins
16 Gareth Williams 54on 17 John Yapp 72on 18 Bradley Davies 54on 19 Sam Warburton 74on 20 Lloyd Williams 62on 21 Dai Flanagan 22 Dafydd Hewitt (30on)
Munster 15 Scott Deasy 14 Denis Hurley 13 Lifeimi Mafi 12 Jean de Villiers 11 Tom Gleeson 10 Ronan O'Gara 9 Peter Stringer
8 David Wallace 7 Niall Ronan 6 Nick Williams 5 Billy Holland 4 Donncha O'Callaghan 3 Tony Buckley 2 Damien Varley 1 Marcus Horan
16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Ryan, 18 Alan Quinlan 19 James Coughlan 20 Tomas O'Leary 21 Paul Warwick 22 Danny Barnes
Referee: Peter Allan (SRU)
Yellow Cards Marcus Horan
Tries Roberts x 1
Pen Blair x 1 Halfpenny x 1
Con Blair x 1
Pen O’Garra x 14