Cardiff Blues 31 - 21 Stade Francais Paris
Sat 15 December 13:35 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 12,114 Ref: Wayne Barnes Heineken Cup

Cardiff Blues 31 Stade Francais 21

Thu 6 Mar 2008 14:50 Cardiff Blues 31 Stade Francais 21
Cardiff Blues 31 Stade Francais 21
Saturday 15 December 1.35pm kick off Cardiff Arms Park

In the first minute, a good charge down and gather by Gethin Jenkins led to a huge miss pass by Robinson to Tom James, who touched down in the corner. However, the ref called the pass forward.

It wasn’t long before the Blues were on the scoreboard, Dai Flanagan converted a penalty for offside in the fourth minute to open the account.

Following a huge kick downfield by Jamie Roberts, the Blues won a line out just outside the Stade twenty-two.

With a fantastic move that looked like it came straight off the training field, Jason Spice fed Flanagan, who turned the ball inside to Gareth Thomas. The inspirational winger split the defence before putting Robinson in to touch down.

A penalty for going over top gave Flanagan the chance to extend the lead, but the young fly-half struck it wide.

The Blues still looked in attacking mood, and came close again on 20 minutes when they were inches from the Stade try line following another good break by Robinson. They were, however, awarded another penalty, and Flanagan was accurate this time.

Strong defence by Gareth Thomas and Tom Shanklin neutered a strong attack by Stade.

From a penalty, Stade kicked for a lineout on the Blues try line. A big drive from the home team pushed them back, but eventually the ball was spread wide where Stade utilised their overlap to send Julien Arias over on the right wing. David Skrela converted to bring the score to 13-7.

However, the Blues finished the half well with a brilliant individual try from Tom James. The left winger showed his strength and speed as he shook off a tackle just outside the Stade twenty-two and accelerated away from the covering defence.


A high tackle by the Blues early on saw Stade awarded a penalty that Skrela converted. However, from the kick-off a strong Gareth Williams tackle and a superb charge down by Paul Tito saw the big Kiwi second row touch down in the corner for the third try.

The crowd started to cheer for their new favourite, with cries of “Tito” ringing around the ground.

However, Skrela soon kicked two penalties for the men in pink to close the gap. A strong break by Fau Filise put the Blues back in the Stade half before they eventually won a penalty. Flanagan converted to extend the home side’s lead to 12 points.

A late tackle by Rodrigo Roncero on Gareth Thomas saw the prop sent to the bin. Strangely, the atmosphere was a bit subdued and Stade managed to spread the ball out wide. Blindside flanker Burban found himself on the wing and just managed to squeeze in the corner. However, Skrela missed the conversion so the score stood at 28-21 with just under ten minutes left.

The Blues remained resolute as the pressure mounted in the dying minutes, keeping the ball tight and working their way up the field gradually. Five minutes into injury time, Flanagan struck the drop goal that ensured victory and raucous celebrations from the home supporters.

Cardiff Blues 15 Jamie Roberts  14 Gareth Thomas 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Jamie Robinson 11 Tom James 10 Dai Flanagan 9 Jason Spice (72off)  8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Robin Sowden Taylor (60off) 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Taufa’ao Filise 2 Gareth Williams (60off) 1 Gethin Jenkins (70off) 16 John Yapp (70on) 17 T Rhys Thomas (60on)  18 Scott Morgan 19 Andy Powell 20 Martyn Williams (60on)  21 Richie Rees (72on) 22 Tal Selley

Stade Francais 15  Ignacio Corleto 14  Julien Arias 13  Stéphane Glas  12  Brian Liebenberg   11  Julien Saubade  10  David Skrela  9  Jérôme Fillol 
8  Simon Taylor 7  Rémy Martin  6  Antoine Burban   5  Pascal Pape 
4  Boela Du Plooy   3  Pieter de Villiers  2  Dimitri Szarzewski (capt) 
1  Rodrigo Roncero   16  Mathieu Blin   17  Franck Montanella  18  Pedro Ledesma  19  Cliff Milton  20  Alexandre Albouy  21  Mathieu Bastareaud  22  Geoffroy Messina


TRIES   J Robinson x 1  Arias x 1
   T James x 1   Burban x 1
   P Tito x 1
PENALTIES  D Flanagan x 3  Skrela x 3
CONVERSIONS D Flanagan x 2  Skrela x 1
DROP GOALS D Flanaganan x 1