Leinster 34 Cardiff Blues 23
Saturday 11 September 6.30pm kick off
Dan Parks kicked off proceeding with the Blues wearing pink but it wasLeisnterwho were dominating early possession. From a fumbled ball at the back of the line Leinster attacked. Boss broke well, and although referee Andy McPherson seemed to obstruct the tackler, the Leinster scrum half passed on to Shane Jennings to score. Nacewa converted.
The home side soon extended their lead, working the ball well through the hands before setting up a ruck on the left, where Nacewa ran in unopposed before converting his try. The score gave them a 14-0 lead with less than 10 minutes played.
The Blues got their first points when Horgan was penalized for being offside near the ruck and Parks slotted the penalty. The score lifted the Blues tempo and Laulala, who was having a great game, broke strongly before passing to Czekaj who was brought down 10 metres out. However, Leinster recovered and cleared but it was the Blues who scored next with another Parks penalty after the home side were penalised for holding on.
The Blues were soonpenalisedfor the same offence and Nacewa slotted again after another period of pressure for the Blues that saw them fail to win their own line out ball and struggling in the scrum. Their shortcoming was highlighted in the 35th minutes when the Blues werepenalisedfor collapsing the scrum and Nacewa converted another penalty to bring the half time score to 20-6.
Half time: Leinster 20 Cardiff Blues 6
The Blues started the second half brightly and for the first time in the match showed what they could do, with the backs moving the ball slickly, with clever play to the left where Tom James did well to chip ahead, only for Nacewa to do remarkably well to gather and call for the mark.
The Blues were under pressure in their twenty two but did well to turn the ball over and a great break by Richie Rees which saw them turn defence into attack. Laualala carried the ball on and fed Mustoe who took the ball into the Leinster twenty two, however, Leinster has scrambled back and defended well. From the lineout the Blues attacked and Bradley Davies stretched out to score with Parks converting.
Another wave of Leinster attack followed when Czekaj was forced over try line and scrum for Leinster 5 metres out. However the Blues defended strongly and again turned defence into attack. Czekaj gathered a Leinster kick and gathered his chip, before the ball was moved right with Laulala drawing defenders, passing on to Davies, who shifted it on to Mustoe then Rush. The number 8 drew his man and passed inside to Rees to score with Parks again converting.
The score lifted the Blues and again Mustoe attacked before Leinster were penalized for offside. Parks was again accurate with the boot to give the Blues the lead for the first time in the match.
The lead did last long, another wave of Leinster attacked followed and despite some heroic defence from the Blues, eventually the Irish side scored with McFadden crossing under the posts and Nacewa again converting.
It was a tense finish with the Blues attacking in the Leinster twenty two in the final five minutes but Madigan at outside half sealed it for Leinster breaking through the midfield to touch down with the last move of the match to deny the Blues a losing bonus point.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Casey Laulala (72off) 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Richie Rees
8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Sam Warburton (71off) 6 Michael Paterson 5 Deiniol Jones (57off) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Scott Andrews 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Tom Davies (39off)
16 Rhys Williams 17 John Yapp 18 Fa'ao Filise (39on) 19 James Down (57on) 20 Ben White (71off) 21 Lloyd Williams 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Gavin Evans (72on)
Leinster: 15: Luke Fitzgerald 14: Shane Horgan 13: Brian O'Driscoll 12: Fergus McFadden 11: Isa Nacewa 10: Jonathan Sexton 9: Isaac Boss
1: Heinke van der Merwe 2: Richardt Strauss 3: Mike Ross 4: Nathan Hines 5: Ed O'Donoghue 6: Sean O'Brien 7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN 8: Jamie Heaslip
16: John Fogarty 17: Cian Healy 18: Simon Shawe 19: Mariano Galarza 20: Dominic Ryan 21: Eoin Reddan 22: Ian Madigan 23: Eoin O'Malley
REFEREE: Andy Macpherson (ARU),
Tries: B Davies x 1 Rees x 1
Con: Parks x 2
Pen: Parks x 3
Tries: Jennings x 1 Nacewa x 1 Mcfadden x 1 Madigan x 1
Con: Nacewa x 4
Pen: Nacewa x 2