Cardiff Blues 38 - 53 Worcester Warriors
Sat 04 February 15:00 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 1,370 Ref: Steve Lee Anglo Welsh Cup

Cardiff Blues 38 Worcester Warriors 53

Sat 4 Feb 2017 16:42 Cardiff Blues 38 Worcester Warriors 53
For the second week in a row a Cardiff Blues team packed with youth faced a full-strength Aviva Premiership side determined to build momentum into their survival flight.

And while the home side claimed a try-scoring bonus-point, the Warriors’ experience and power proved decisive as they took advantage of mistakes and flexed their forward muscle with eight tries.

The Blues trailed 36-17 at the interval with tries from Cam Dolan and Harri Millard giving them a glimmer of hope.

They battled all the way in the free-flowing try fest, and won the second-half 21-17, with Tomos Williams, Millard and Jarrod Evans all crossing the whitewash but Worcester remained in control and wrapped up the encounter.

The Warriors dominated the opening exchanges and although Ryan Mills fired an early penalty wide, they were soon in the lead.

An intelligent kick to the corner but the Blues’ backs to the wall and while they defended manfully and appeared to steal possession, Jake Thomas was penalised a Mills made amends, booting the scoreboard into action.

Two minutes later the visitors claimed the opening try thanks to a moment of brilliance from Springbok scrum-half Francois Hougaard.

The scrum-half broke from the back of a ruck and sucked in two defenders before offloading out of contact to release Josh Adams.

Adams combined with Bryce Heem before receiving the ball once again for an easy run in. Mills added the conversion to open up a 10-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Steve Shingler hit back for the hosts with his first points of the day on 14 minutes and five minutes later the Blues drew.

The try came courtesy of Dolan, who claimed a trademark interception and galloped clear. Shingler nailed the conversion wide to tie the scores at 10-all but Worcester quickly reclaimed the advantage.

Teri Gee failed to secure the restart and the Blues were penalised for being offside. Mills kicked to the corner and displaying their gnarly experience, the Worcester pack rumbled over.

Mills was off-target with the conversion but he was soon back at the tee, and on target, after Sam Lewis charged down Evans and reclaimed to race clear. Worcester were now in control with a 22-10 lead.

They claimed their fourth try on 32 minutes as Hodges’ side were unable to secure an unorthodox up-and-under. Worcester pounced and Heem was put clear for a second run in.

Mills converted and he extended his tally further after Wynand Olivier intercepted on the half-way line and eased clear.

To their credit, the Blues continued to battle and they snatched a try with the last play of the half as Evans dummied and then wriggled out of contact before passing back inside to Millard, who finished beneath the posts.

Shingler knocked over the simple conversion to cut the deficit to 36-17 at the interval and the Blues came flying out of the blocks following the restart.

Williams sniped over from a quick-tap on 42 minutes and they were unfortunate not to claim a second after a fine breakout from Aled Summerhill.

Despite the promising start, the Blues were dealt a blow when Heem finished on the right following a sustained period of pressure.

It appeared as though Teri Gee had responded with a stunning individual effort. He chipped over the top and displayed electric pace to win the foot race and touch down in spectacular fashion.

The crowd thought the wing had scored but referee Steve Lee adjudged that he grounded the ball beyond the dead-ball line, without having the luxury of being able to consult the TMO.

Minutes later Worcester rubbed salt into the home side’s wounds as they went up field and rumbled over for another try from the driving lineout.

The free-scoring nature of the game continued as Evans intercepted and put Millard away for his second try. Shingler converted to cut the deficit to 17-points.

Olivier completed his brace before Evans struck with a superb solo effort which saw him chip over the rush defence and collect before crashing over.