A record crowd of 16,341 turned up to cheer on the Blues to a 20-12 win against the Ospreys.
The Ospreys kicked off the eagerly awaited Welsh derby but it was the Blues who got off to a flying start. After a steady build up, Sam Norton Knight put in a delicate chip that Tom James hacked on and had the pace to outsprint Tommy Bowe to touch down in the left corner. Blair added the conversion all within the opening two minutes.
The Ospreys also looked threatening when Ben Blair’s kick was partially charged down and shipped on to Shane Williams who looked dangerous in open play. Gareth Williams did well to shepherd him inside to where the Blues had numbers and they turned the ball over and cleared.
The Ospreys seemed to be dominating the territory in the opening stages but the Blues defence was solid and they broke into Ospreys territory on a few occasions through a neat kick by Gareth Williams and good run by Ben Blair. The Ospreys always looked threatening but Deiniol Jones was having an outstanding game, turning the ball over in rucks and winning the ball back for the Blues.
But the Blues weren’t getting the breaks on the refereeing decisions with Nigel Owens penalising the home side for infringements around the contact area.Finally a decision went the Blues way and Ben Blair opted to kick for goal, converting the penalty.
A scrum on the half way line before the break saw a shift in the momentum of the game with the Blues enjoying far more possession in the Ospreys half.
Another penalty was awarded to the Blues just within their own half; Ben Blair had the distance but was unlucky to hit the upright.
Cardiff Blues 10 Ospreys 0
The Blues started the second half much as they started the first, with Martyn Williams peeling off the back of a ruck and slipping a pass to Cooper who dived over in the corner for a try. Blair again added the difficult conversion to make it 17-0.
The Ospreys struck back in the 55th minute with Shane Williams, who had moved to scrum half, breaking from a ruck. The Ospreys spread the ball wide through Collins with Tommy Bowe diving over in the corner. Biggar was just wide with his conversion.
Nikki Walker had come on for the Ospreys along with Tiatia, Hook and Jones and the Ospreys looked far more dangerous nearly scoring again in the corner.
Blair was unlucky with his penalty attempt that just drifted wide and with 15 minutes left the score was still 17-5.
An excellent kick by Norton Knight and chase by James put the Ospreys under pressure with a Blues line out only 8 metres out. However the Blues failed to capitalise being penalised for holding on in the ruck.
Despite Jonathan Thomas appearing to left hook Deiniol Jones the Ospreys were awarded a penalty and opted to kick for a line out that the Blues turned over and cleared. Owens again awarded the Ospreys a penalty but this time awarded the Blues a scrum for not straight on the throw in.
Paul Tito gathered well from a line out on the Ospreys tryline and the Blues battered their way to within inches of a score. Eventually the ball came out and Norton Knight struck a sweet drop goal.
The drop goal looked to be the last score of the game, however quick moves from the Ospreys pack saw Jerry Collins cross in the corner for a consolation try. Biggar converted.
Cardiff Blues 20 Ospreys 12
15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Sam Norton-Knight 9 Gareth Cooper 55off
8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Sam Warburton 5 Scott Morgan 60off 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Taufa’ao Filise 55off 2 Gareth Williams 45off 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
16 T Rhys Thomas 45on 17 Gary Powell 55 on18 Paul Tito 60on 19 Ben White 20 Richie Rees 55on 21 Ceri Sweeney 22 Richard Mustoe
15 Barry Davies 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Sonny Parker 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Shane Williams (Capt) 10 Dan Biggar 9 Rhodri Wells
8 Tom Smith 7 Steve Tandy 6 Jerry Collins 5 Alun-wyn Jones 4 Ian Gough 3 Cai Griffiths 2 Richard Hibbard 1 Duncan Jones
16 Ed Shervington 17 Paul James 18 Jonathan Thomas 19 Filo Tiatia 20 Ryan Jones 21 James Hook 22 Nikki Walker
Man of the Match: Gareth Williams
Referee: Nigel Owens
Touch Judges: Phil Fear & David Williams
TMO: Tony Rowlands
Try James x 1 Cooper x 1
Penalty Blair x 1
Con Blair x 2
D/Goal Norton Knight x 1
Try Bowe x 1