Connacht 11 - 39 Cardiff Blues
Fri 02 May 18:30 Sportsground Att: 1,463 Ref: Nigel Owens Celtic League

Connacht 11 Cardiff Blues 39

Sat 3 May 2008 01:34 Connacht 11 Cardiff Blues 39
Connacht 11 Cardiff Blues 39 Friday 2 May at Sportsground, 6.30pm kick off Magners League An early penalty for Troy Nathan put points on the board for Connacht, and they were awarded another minutes later when Deiniol Jones dived into a ruck. Nathan was again accurate. However, Blair soon got points on the board for the Blues with a penalty just outside the twenty-two. A good move by Molitika, Gareth Thomas and Spice, saw the Blues attack into the twenty-two but Connacht absorbed the Blues attack. The Blues did manage to breach the defence in the 27th minute. Shanklin and Blair interpassed well after a half break by Rhys Thomas. A great take by Nicky Robinson saw him pass out to Tom James to sprint in for the try. Blair was just wide with the conversion. The Blues were soon on the scoreboard again. On the edge of the twenty-two Ben White picked up from the base of a ruck and sprinted through the centre to touch down under the posts. Blair added the conversion. Half Time Connacht 6 Cardiff Blues 15 The Blues started the second half well when Nicky Robinson broke and cut through the Connacht defence. He threw a beautifully timed long pass out to the right where Xavier Rush ran onto the ball and touched down in the corner. Blair added the difficult conversion from the touchline. The Blues however were dealt a blow 50minutes in when Gareth Thomas tripped Dunne and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Although down to 14 men the Blues still looked to attack. Jamie Roberts, did exceptionally well to take on two tacklers and pass the ball out behind their backs out to Bradley Davies who fed Tom James. The flying winger was 50 yards out with three men in front of him and did well to beat two men before being tackled inside the twenty-two. Blair extended the lead to 25-6 when the Blues were awarded a penalty from the scrum. Despite the Blues domination, Connacht did look threatening and did manage to spread the ball wide to Treviranus and Riordan who always looked dangerous. A good break by Rob Shaw saw Connacht move from their twenty-two into the Blues’. However, the Blues managed to turn the ball over and release Jamie Roberts. The big winger had a lot to do but managed to sprint up the touchline before being tackled in the Connacht twenty-two. The Blues soon built on their lead when Connacht were awarded a line out. Troy Nathan went to clear the ball, which was charged down by Graeth Williams, and the hooker did superbly to gather the ball and touch down for a try. Blair again was accurate, kicking three out of four conversions. The Blues were now running riot, Dai Flanagan did brilliantly to hold up the ball, take two men out and pass out to Molitika. He drew the Full Back and released Gareth Thomas to race over. Blair added the conversion before Colm Rigney got a consolation try in the last minute. 15 Ben Blair 14 Jamie Roberts (70on) 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Gareth Thomas 11 Tom James 10 Nicky Robinson (66off) 9 Jason Spice 8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Martyn Williams (11off) 6 Maama Molitika 5 Scott Morgan 4 Deiniol Jones (33off) Taufa’ao Filise (60off) 2 T Rhys Thomas (580ff) 1 Gethin Jenkins 16 John Yapp (60on) 17 Gareth Williams (58on) 18 Bradley Davies (33on) 19 Ben White (11on) (68off) 20 Mark Lewis (68on) 21 Richie Rees (70on) 22 Dai Flanagan (66on) Cardiff Blues Connacht Tries James x 1 Colm Rigney x 1 White x 1 Rush x 1 G Williams x 1 G Thomas x 1 Penalties Blair x 3 Troy Nathan x 2 Conversions Blar x 4 Drop goals