Cardiff Blues 11 - 14 Munster Rugby
Sat 23 November 20:00 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 7,122 Ref: Pierre Brousset European Challenge Cup

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Leicester Tigers

Fri 22 Nov 2019 14:35 Preview: Cardiff Blues v Leicester Tigers

Cardiff Blues welcome Leicester Tigers for the second round of Challenge Cup action.

Both sides are locked on five points in Pool 5 after the opening weekend of action, as the Blues secured maximum points on their trip to Calvisano, while Geordan Murphy's side blew away the challenge of Paul Tito's Pau at Welford Road.

It will be the first time these sides face off in European competition since the infamous Heineken Cup 2009 semi final, where Tigers were victorious in a gruelling penalty shoot-out decider.

Cardiff Blues: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams (capt); Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Boyde, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, James Botham, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Matthew Morgan

Leicester Tigers: George Worth; Adam Thompstone, Joe Thomas, EW Vilijoen, Andy Forsyth; Tom Hardwick, Ben White (capt); Ellis Genge, Jake Kerr, Joe Heyes, Tomás Lavanini, Harry Wells, Sam Lewis, Guy Thompson, Jordan Coghlan

Replacements: Charlie Clare, Facundo Gigena, Nephi Leatigaga, Cameron Jordan, Thom Smith, Harry Simmons, Sam Costelow, Freddie Steward

From the Vault: Cardiff Blues 26 Leicester Tigers 26 (AET)

One of the most memorable clashes in the history of the Heineken Cup came in the 2009 semi final, as Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers were forced to be separated through dramatic circumstances.

Despite an early Ben Blair penalty, it was the Tigers who touched down for the game's firs try. Toby Flood was the instigator, creating space for Scott Hamilton to touch down under the sticks.

The rest of the half became a battle from the tee, as Blair, Leigh Halfpenny and Julian Dupuy exchanged penalties with Leicester heading into the break with a single-point lead.

Flood once again pulled the strings to put Geordan Murphy through for their second try of the afternoon. 

Jamie Roberts crashed over out wide to give Wales' Capital Region hope in the final moments, and straight from kick off the centre once again showed his impressive combination of pace and power to break past Lewis Moody.

He fed Tom James on the outside, and despite support from Tom Shanklin, the wing pinned his ears back and had enough gas to slide in at the corner. Blair's touchline conversion ensured the sides would be level after the full time whistle.

A fairly uneventful extra time period would lead to the first ever penalty shoot-out. After seven penalties each - and misses from Johne Murphy and James - thes sides were level.

Up stepped Martyn Williams, who hooked his effort wide, before number eight Jordan Crane slotted his penalty to send Leicester into the final and end the Blues' hopes in the most cruel of circumstances.

Head to Head: Seb Davies v Tomás Lavanini

Seb Davies has switched back to the boiler room after a try-scoring display at number eight in Italy last week.

It's been a good week for the academy product after being recalled into the Wales squad for next week's clash against Barbarians.

He's been in fine form over the last few weeks, and his athleticism gives him a point of difference at second row.

6'7 lock Lavanini returned from Rugby World Cup duty with Argentina and is one of the new summer signings at Welford Road.

His World Cup campaign was cut short following a red card against England for a high tackle on Owen Farrell,  and his lack of discipline is a potential weakness. However, his physicality will be crucial in the set pieces, especially if it's set for wet and windy conditions in the Welsh capital.