Cardiff Blues v Munster
Sunday 10 May Cardiff Arms Park
A late change by the Blues saw Chris Czekaj move from the wing to fullback in place of Leigh Halfpenny, with Tom James coming on from the bench.
The Blues had the chance to take an early lead but Robinson just pulled his effort wide. It was a free flowing game, with both sides taking quick penalties, Allison and James, both showing some great vision and pace.
A late tackle on Jamie Roberts from the Munster blindside, Nick Williams, saw the Blues awarded another penalty and Williams yellow card. blindside given a yellow card however Robinson pulled the penalty wide to leave the score at 0 0.
The Blues were threatening the Munster tryline, spreading the ball well from right to left and back, before the move eventually broke down allowing Munster to clear.
The breakthrough came from a lineout, with Warburton gathering well and Gary Powell charging. Eventually they worked it through the backs for Tom James to sprint in at the corner. Robinson hit the upright with the difficult conversion.
Munster got one back on 35 minutes following a good run from Denis Hurley, the Blues defense managed to hold him up just short of the line but Munster were patient and worked the ball through the forwards before Denis Leamy crashed over. Manning missed the conversion.
Nicky Robinson kicked a late penalty to give the Blues half time lead having dominated possession and territory.
Half time Cardiff Blues 8 Munster 5
The second half started much the same as the first with both teams looking to throw the ball around in the sunshine. Sweeny had come on for Jamie Roberts, and some good tactical kicking by the Pontypridd product was giving the Blues some strong field position.
The Blues conceded a scrum when Mustoe was forced over the tryline and Denis Leamy picked from the base and crossed, but Robinson looked to have held him up which was confirmed by the TMO.
Munster were beginning to look threatening with Stringer taking a quick tap penalty and Ronan working the ball into the Blues half before the defence had the chance to get back and James hooking a stray pass into touch only yards from the tryline.
The defence could only stand so much and when Munster did throw the ball wide Barry Murphy looked to have jinxed his way over, however the referee again went to the TMO. Again the try was not given but eventually Munsters pressure told and they did score with quick hands from Denis Hurley putting in Kieran Lewis. Manning added the conversion.
The Blues soon bounced back. Sam Warbuton broke from the back of a scrum within the Munster twenty two which had been won against the put in, and slipped a pass to Nick Robinson, Tom James was on hand as the move continued with Allinson taking the ball to within yards of the Munster tryline. The ball was spread to the right where Gary Powell had the power to charge over for the try.
Nicky Robinson nearly got another for the Blues following a deft kick through by Martyn Williams; however, the TMO again adjudged no try after the ball had appeared to bounce out of his hands as he looked to touch down. The Blues however were looking threatening and Jamie Robinson showed his vision breaking the defence before Munster managed to clear their lines.
The Blues sealed the victory when Ceri Sweeney latched on for an interception from 45 yards out and run in unopposed under the posts. Robinson this time converted to give the Blues a 20-12 lead.
Full time Cardiff Blues 20 Munster 12
15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Jamie Robinson 12 Jamie Roberts (46off) 11 Tom James 10 Nick Robinson 9 Darren Allinson 8 Andy Powell (65off) 7 Martyn Williams 6 Sam Warburton 5 Scott Morgan 4 Bradley Davies 3 Gary Powell 2 Gareth Williams (65off) 1 John Yapp 16 Sam Hobbs 17 T Rhys Thomas (65on) 18 Deiniol Jones 19 Ben White (65on) 20 Richie Rees 21 Ceri Sweeney (46on) 22 Robin Sowden Taylor
Tries James x 1 G Powell x 1 Sweeney x 1
Penalties Robinson x 1
Cons Robinson x 1
Tries Leamy x 1 Lewis x 1
Cons Manning x 1