Going into the game Grenoble were unable to advance to the knockout stages but were clearly looking to bow out on a positive note.
Grenoble had lost four out of the last five meetings with Welsh opponents. However the two top try scorers in this season’s competition were Grenoble’s Bouchet and Blues’ Richard Smith.
There were strong spells from both teams in the opening exchanges of the game. In the 17th
minute Cardiff Blues made an early change as Macauley Cook replaced Chris Dicomidis, due to a knee injury, in the second row.
The opening try came in the 27th
minute with Lloyd Williams getting his name on the scoreboard. Great play by the scrum half which ended the deadlock. Gareth Anscombe added the extra points to extend the lead for the Blues 7-0.
Some poor passing stopped any momentum Grenoble were trying to establish. However, a good kick penned the Blues back in their own 22. Grenoble got a chance to go for the posts after the Blues were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck. Nearly 40 metres out, the home side went for the posts as Hart banged it over to bring the home side within four points of the Blues 7-3.
It looked as if the Blues would score again before half time as Alex Cuthbert showed what he could do. The winger found some space on the wide outside and made a full 40 metres. Unfortunately the support wasn’t there and Grenoble cleared the ball to touch.
At half time, Grenoble trailed the Blues 7-3 with the try from Lloyd Williams being the difference between the two sides.
In the second half Grenoble enjoyed a bit of early territory. The Blues made changes in the front row in the 49th
minute with Matthew Rees and Sam Hobbs replacing Kristian Dacey and Gethin Jenkins respectively.
The Cardiff Blues began piling on the pressure. The French side gave away another penalty on their own 5 metre line. Grenoble’s Jammes was yellow carded.
The Blues pack made the most of Grenoble’s poor discipline as they took a commanding lead in the game with their second try. Grenoble conceded a penalty try which was converted by Anscombe 14-3.
As the snow fell, Benjamin Thiery made a break for the home side and took it deep into the Blues half before being dragged down just two metres short of the Cardiff Blues line. The ball was recycled but knocked on resulting in a scrum to the Blues in their own 22.
The game began to open up for the Blues when Grenoble went down to 14 men with another yellow card, as Grenoble had Fabian Alexandre sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. The home side seemed to be struggling now to keep up their defensive efforts.
The Blues clinched their third try of the game in the 73rd
minute with a second penalty try. The Blues took advantage of the home side’s continued poor discipline and Anscombe provided the conversion 21-3.
Cardiff Blues looked to score another try and get the bonus point before time ran out. The Blues continued to exert pressure and were soon rewarded with a 4th
try. In the dying minutes of the game, another powerful scrum from the Blues gave Josh Navidi the opportunity to cross the line and gain the bonus point. Gareth Davies added the extra points to finish the game 28-3 to the visitors.
27m Williams t 0-5 Anscombe c 0-7
33m Hart p 3-7
57m Penalty try 3- 12 Anscombe c 3-14
73m Penalty try 3- 19 Anscombe c 3-21
78m Navidi t 3-26 davies c 3- 28
Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen (G Evans 64), 12 Adam Thomas, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Gareth Anscombe ( G Davies 74), 9 Lloyd Williams (T Knoyle 60) 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)( S Hobbs 49), 2 Kristian Dacey (M Rees 49), 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 Chris Dicomidis (K Dacey 17), 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Sam Warburton ( E Jenkins 67), 8 Josh Navidi
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Gavin Evans