Fixture ID 138596
Cardiff Blues 28 Toulon 16
Amlin Cup Final, Sunday 23 May, Stade Velodrome, Marseille
The sun was shining on a packed Stade Velodrome that saw Jonny Wilkinson kick off the Amlin Cup final. From the start a Blues knock on fell kindly into the hands of the on charging Tom May who came close to scoring much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
However, it was Leigh Halfpenny got the first points of the day with a long range penalty effort but Wilkinson soon equalised with a similar effort of his own.
The Blues looked to spread the ball and a strong run by Czekaj gained ground, which was taken on by a rampaging Xavier Rush. Laulala looked to step his way through the defence only for Alain Rowland to penalise the Blues when only 5 yards out.
A good passage of play by the blues followed with backs and forwards showing good hands, before Toulon were penalised in a ruck, which gave Blair the chance to restore the lead, which he did superbly.
Some sloppy passing by Toulon saw the ball being intercepted and Roberts had a half chance when he collected a stray pass. However, it was 40 yards out and the Toulon defence recovered well but it was promise of what could come.
Wilkinson levelled the scores again with another long range effort making it six al after thirty minutes. Toulon broke all the way from their own twenty two before eventually Sonny Williams sided stepped his way through the defence to touch down. Wilkinson converted to give Toulon the lead going in at half time.
Half time Cardiff Blues 6 Toulon 13
The opening five minutes of the second half saw wave upon wave of Toulon attack but the Blues defence remained solid even though the Frenchmen came to within yards of the tryline.
With Jonny Wilkinson going off injured Toulon had no kicker and pressure by Bradley Davies saw them concede a scrum five. The Blues attacked the line patiently before Jamie Roberts scored under the posts. Blair converted to bring the score levels.
Tom May and Ben Blair exchanged well taken penalty kicks to bring the scores level again in what was a thrilling but intense match.
From a ruck inside the Toulon twenty two the Blues did superbly. Rees passed on to Laulala who showed great hands and Rush shipped the ball on to Halfpenny to dive over in the corner.
Almost from the restart Rush took a quick free kick and gained good ground, before Laulala carried on the move and did superbly jinking his way through the defence. From the ruck Rees passed on to Bradley Davies who crashed over.
The Blues now had a twelve point lead with ten minutes left and they showed some superb defence to keep Toulon out. However, they did score a late consolation try through Thomas Sourice that May failed to convert to ensure another tense finish, but the Blues hung on to secure a famous win and lift a European Cup for a Welsh team for the first time.
Referee Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Attendance 48, 990
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Casey Laulala 78off 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Chris Czekaj 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Richie Rees
8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Ma'ama Molitika 60off 5 Bradley Davies 4 Deiniol Jones 50off 3 Taufa'ao Filise 60off 2 T Rhys Thomas 45off 1 Gethin Jenkins (c) 40off
16 Gareth Williams 45on 17 John Yapp 40on 18 Scott Andrews 60on 19 Paul Tito 50on 20 Sam Warburton 60on 21 Darren Allinson 22 Dai Flanagan 23 Dafydd Hewitt 78on
Tries Roberts x 1 Halfpenny x 1 Davies x 1
Pens Halfpenny x 1 Blair x 1
Con Blair x 1 Blair x 1
Tries Williams x 1
Pens Wilkinson x 2 May x 1
Con Wilkinson x 1