Cardiff Blues 27 - 25 Ospreys
Fri 31 December 14:05 Cardiff City Stadium Att: 22,160 Ref: Nigel Owens Celtic League

Cardiff Blues 27 Ospreys 25

Fri 31 Dec 2010 16:56 Cardiff Blues 27 Ospreys 25

The Blues kicked off the match and won the turnover from the start, which lead to an easy penalty for Parks to convert just outside the twenty two. Parks soon doubled the lead with an equally simple kick when Ospreys failed to release Casey Laulala from a tackle.

The Blues got the early try following good work from Laulala gaining ground into the Ospreys half. They then spread it left and Rhys Thomas slipped a neat pass to Czekaj who drew his man and put Tom James in space. The flying winger crossed in the corner to put the Blues 11-0 up.

Biggar got the Ospreys first points of the match with a long distance penalty but Parks was wide with his effort minutes later following a deliberate knock on from Alun Wyn Jones. However good build up work by Richard Mustoe took the Blues into the Ospreys twenty two and Parks struck a neat drop goal to maintain the 11 point lead.

The Blues were fighting for every ball, challenging in the lineouts and Warburton showing great poaching instincts in the rucks and around the field. Ospreys won another penalty from a wheeled scrum but Biggar hooked it wide.

The Blues again turned the ball over with Laulala again gaining ground with Czekaj in support, following some recycling Rees shipped the ball to Parks who again pulled the trigger and slotted a long distance drop goal.

There was still enough time for one last attack from the Blues but when they were awarded another penalty forty yards out Parks just hooked it wide.

Half time Cardiff Blues 17 Ospreys 3

The second half started with Nigel Owens sending Paul James and Fau Filise to the bin following the scrum collapsing. All that it achieved was John Yapp and Ryan Bevington coming on in their place. The Ospreys attacked from the scrum but the Blues did well to turn over and Czekaj kicked and chased well to gain ground with Fussell kicking out on the full just outside his twenty two.

From good field position the Blues won the lineout and Richard Mustoe again showed his strength and speed to break tackles and touch down, with Parks converting to put the Blues 24-3 up.

Mike Phillips came off the bench for the Ospreys to add a bit of spark to their play and they threatened the Blues tryline. Strong defence kept them out with some big tackles pushing the attackers back before they eventually turned the ball over and Parks cleared. However, the Ospreys continued to attack with Marty Hollah coming close on the right. Eventually the score came from a drive by Alun Wyn Jones with Paul James picking up and driving from short range. Biggar hit the upright with the conversion.

They soon doubled their try tally when Parks was tackled and his pass fell into the lap of Tommy Bowe who sprinted in under the posts. Hook this time converted.

The game seemed to up it’s tempo with the Swansea side looking far more threatening but the Blues were also dropping off tackles which was a concern with only an eight point margin in it now. The Ospreys were also getting all the field position and Hook slotted another penalty to 24-18.

With less than 10 minutes left it was a tense finish, but when Sweeney broke and was held down in the tackle, the Blues were awarded a penalty that Sweeny slotted it gave the Blues a nine point lead but it didn’t last for long. The Ospreys once again attacked in to the Blues twenty two and spread the ball from the ruck. Hook passed on to Bowe who fed Bishop to score. Hook converted and they were only two points behind but the Blues hung on for a win to celebrate the New Year.

Cardiff Blues 15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe (52off) 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks (70off) 9 Richie Rees

8 Maama Molitika (63off) 7 Sam Warburton 6 Andries Pretorius 5 Paul Tito (C) (54off) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Tafa'ao Filise (70off) 2 T Rhys Thomas (75off) 1 Gethin Jenkins

16 Rhys Williams (75off) 17 John Yapp (70on) 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Deiniol Jones (54on) 20 Martyn Williams (63on) 21 Tom Slater 22 Ceri Sweeney (70on) 23 Leigh Halfpenny (52on)

Ospreys 15 Barry Davies 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Andrew Bishop 12 James Hook 11 Richard Fussell 10 Dan Biggar 9 Jamie Nutbrown

8 Jonathan Thomas 7 Marty Holah 6 Jerry Collins 5 Alun Wyn Jones (C) 4 Ian Gough 3 Adam Jones 2 Richard Hibbard 1 Paul James

16 Huw Bennett 17 Ryan Bevington 18 Craig Mitchell 19 Ian Evans 20 Ryan Jones 21 Mike Phillips 22 Sonny Parker 23 Nikki Walker

Cardiff Blues
Tries James x 1 Mustoe x 1
Pen Parks x 2
Con Parks x 1
D/G Parks x 2


Tries James x 1 Bowe x 1 Bishop x 1
Pen Biggar x 1 Hook 1
Con Hook x 2

Referee: Nigel Owens
Yellow Card: Paul James, Fau Filise
Attendance: 22,116