Munster Rugby 16 - 13 Cardiff Blues
Fri 24 February 19:05 Thomond Park Att: 19,545 Ref: Leighton Hodges Pro12

Munster 16 Cardiff Blues 13

Fri 24 Feb 2012 21:45 Munster 16 Cardiff Blues 13
Following wins over Connacht and Ulster the Blues aimed to make it a triple crown of victories over Irish opposition when they faced Munster at Thomond Park.

The Blues kicked off the match and got some early points with Dan Parks slotting a penalty in the fourth minute. This was closely followed by Ian Keatley four minutes later equalling the score.

Blues showed some good use of the ball after the restart which was closely followed by a break from Simon Zebo who broke the line and saw Felix Jones in for a try under the posts. Munster‘s Ian Keatley converted the try allowing Munster to ensure an early lead.

The Blues had too many turn overs and lost passes in the first half which meant Ian Keatley was able to score 2 more penalties for Munster. However, Munster managed to miss a penalty towards the final minutes of the first half.  The Blues found themselves under pressure but a break from Richie Rees saw the Blues sustain 12 phases allowing them to finish on a strong note showing Munster what a threat they could be.

Half time Munster 16 Cardiff Blues 3

Blues started the second half in spritely mood, running good lines, fully aware that a couple of scores would bring them back into the game. Blues clearly explored different avenues in the second half, looking for space and to stretch the Munster defence.

The Blues made a couple of breaks but were stopped by the Munster defence. A short pass from Molitika to Henson who made a break into space, linked with Martyn Williams which allowed Richie Rees to play a quick ball out to the centre to Gavin Evans, who passed to Czekaj which saw Richard Mustoe score a much needed try in the corner. The try was well converted by Dan Parks from near the touch line.

Dan Parks missed a penalty after Munster illegally slowed the ball down.  The Blues forced Munster to defend for much of the second half. Ben Blair then added an extra three points in the 63rd minute.

Paul Tito got a yellow card in the 66th minute which saw Michael Paterson move to second row. Blues continued to defend resolutely and showed to be the stronger team in the dying minutes.  The Blues showed great determination in the final minutes to try and seek a draw. However came up short and gained a losing bonus point.

Cardiff Blues
Tries Mustoe x1 
Pen Parks x1 Blair x1
Con Parks x1

Tries Jones x1
Pen Keatley x3
Con Keatley x1

Cardiff Blues 15 Chris Czekaj (57off) 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gavin Evans 12 Gavin Henson 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks (57off) 9 Richie Rees

8 Maama Molitika 7 Martyn Williams 6 Michael Paterson 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Cory Hill (59off) 3 Scott Andrews 2 Ryan Tyrell (55off) 1 John Yapp

16 T Rhys Thomas (55on) 17 Nathan Trevett 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Macauley Cook(59on) 20 Thomas Young 21 Lewis Jones 22 Ceri Sweeney(57on) 23 Ben Blair (57on)

Munster 15 F Jones 14 J Murphy 13 D Barnes 12 L Mafi 11 S Zebo 10 I Keatley 1 T O’Leary

1 M Horan 2 D Varley 3 BJ Botha 4 B Holland 5 M O’Driscoll (c) 6 Dave O’Callaghan 7 T O’Donnell 8 J Coughlan.

16 D Fogarty 17 W du Preez 18 S Archer 19 D Foley 20 P Butler 21 D Williams 22 S Deasy 23 L O’Dea

Yellow Card: Paul Tito