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Blues battle into World Club 7s last eight

16th August 2014

Cardiff Blues will go for glory in the cup competition after an entertaining opening day of fast and furious rugby at the World Club 7s at Twickenham.

Twelve teams battled it out on day one of the tournament in London with Blues placed in Pool B alongside Buenos Aires, Gloucester Rugby and Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Blues opened the competition with a 33-14 defeat to Buenos Aires – who would later go through as No.1 seeds for the entire event – before producing one of the performances of the day.
The Welsh region lit up the home of English rugby as they thumped Gloucester – who last week won the Premiership Rugby 7s Series – with an emphatic 41-5 win.
A final pool game thriller with Vodacom Blue Bulls saw Blues mount a stunning second half fight-back before a late try handed the South Africans a slender 24-21 victory.
However, the losing bonus point was crucial as Blues finished Pool B in third spot on six points and were placed as eighth seed in the competition.
Cardiff Blues will now play Buenos Aires once more in the last eight with a 12.15pm kick-off tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

RC Enisei 26 New York 17
Harlequins 19 Western Province 38
RC Enisei 33 Harlequins 12
Western Province 26 New York 26
RC Enisei 24 Western Province 35
New York 24 Harlequins 7

Gloucester Rugby 14 Vodacom Blue Bulls 36
Buenos Aires 33 Cardiff Blues 14
Gloucester Rugby 5 Cardiff Blues 41
Blue Bulls 7 Buenos Aires 26
Gloucester Rugby 10 Buenos Aires 33
Blue Bulls 24 Cardiff Blues 21

Auckland 21 Kuban Krasnodar 15
NSW Waratahs 14 Seattle 33
Kuban Krasnodar 28 NSW Waratahs 19
Auckland 19 Seattle 12
Kuban Krasnodar 17 Seattle 5
Auckland 34 NSW Waratahs 12

Day One Round-up

Game 1: Cardiff Blues 14 Buenos Aires 33
Clinical Buenos Aires showcased their outstanding finishing skills as Cardiff Blues lost their opening game of the World Club 7s at Twickenham Stadium.
The Argentineans came into the tournament as something an unknown quantity, but demonstrated their attacking, fast paced and lively game plan to secure victory over battling Blues.
Buenos Aires played with real pace from the opening minute and scored the game’s first try after less than two minutes when a quick tap penalty opened up space for Franco Sabato to crash over from close range.
Blues looked to hit back immediately with Ben Roach breaking down the middle and freeing Wales Sevens ace Jevon Groves, but smart work on the floor from Buenos Aires turned over possession.
The Welsh region did get on the score sheet on four minutes when quick handling and incisive running lines allowed Lloyd Williams to race over from halfway, with Simon Humberstone converting for the lead.
But Buenos Aires re-established control just before the break when Franciso Merello scored after supporting the breakaway runner for a 12-7 lead.
Back came Blues after the break as flier Luke Morgan injected a real turn of pace to burst open a gap and release Tomos Williams who showed great strength to hand off two tacklers and race in under the posts.
However, in the remaining five minutes it was all Buenos Aires who firmly took control with further tries from Segundo Taculet, a second from Merello and last minute opportunistic score from Rodrigo Etchart.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Simon Humberstone, Jevon Groves, Ben Roach, Owen Jenkins, Tomos Williams, Lloyd Williams, Luke Morgan. 

Game 2: Cardiff Blues 41 Gloucester 5
Seven-try Cardiff Blues turned on the style in the most emphatic fashion as they blitzed Gloucester Rugby 41-5 with a real sevens masterclass at Twickenham.
Gloucester had secured the win when the two teams met across the road at Twickenham Stoop a week earlier in the Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
But revenge was certainly sweet for Blues as they produced a stunning opening half to roar to a 31-0 lead with a two-try brace from Garyn Smith and Luke Morgan in the game.
Blues made a dream start as they retained the ball from the kick-off and sweet hands sent Owen Jenkins over for the converted try in the corner.
A superb individual try from Lloyd Williams extended the lead, as he raced over from halfway and evaded several tackles, before Smith took advantage of more neat handling and offloads to go over on the left wing for brilliant opening three minutes,
Smith completed his double on five minutes as he rolled out of weak tackle to crash over before Morgan got in on the act on the opposite flank with time up as Blues opened up a commanding 31-0 lead by half-time.
The tries continued to flow after the break with Simon Humberstone going over in cover after more neat skills and a floated over the head offload from scrum half Tomos Williams.
Gloucester finally got on the scoreboard when they worked an overlap and sent Joshua Madigibuli in on the right wing.
But Blues were not to be denied the final word and big wing Harry Davies freed his arms in the tackle to hand Morgan the ball and, despite limited space, he showed all his pace and power to hold off the final man and smash over to complete a comprehensive win.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Simon Humberstone, Jevon Groves, Garyn Smith, Owen Jenkins, Tomos Williams, Lloyd Williams, Luke Morgan. 
Game 3: Cardiff Blues 21 Vodacom Blue Bulls 24
Cardiff Blues produced a thrilling second half comeback but came up just short as a late try from Vodacom Blue Bulls saw them snatch victory in a thriller in Pool B.
Blues went into the final game of day one knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the cup quarter-finals on day two. The South Africans also needed to secure a victory to be assured a last eight spot.
An entertaining encounter unfolded with Bulls taking complete control by the break.
An interception saw Bulls over for the first try of the game with Ryan Nell dotting down before Clayton Stewart crunched over after team-mate Niel Meyer had been held up just short.
Blues looked to hit back but lost control of the ball and with 20 seconds of the half left a missed tackle allowed Bulls to strike once more with Leroy Bitterhout finding the smallest of gaps to score in the corner for a 19-0 lead.
A big effort was needed by Blues to resurrect any last eight hopes and they had the ideal start as Luke Morgan scored from long range to reduce the deficit.
A sublime dummy from Lloyd Williams then sent him over, after the scrum half had taken a highball to win back possession for Blues and start at attack from deep.
The comeback looked complete a minute later as Morgan broke away and raced over from long range once more as Blues looked to have turned it around, with Simon Humberstone’s conversion putting the region 21-19 ahead.
But Bulls produced a sting in the tail right at the death as they kept the ball alive and worked a crucial overlap where they found Ganfried May to score and nudge them ahead.
One last roll of the dice from Blues saw them go left and right with pace, but the whistle of the referee ended any hopes and left them with a nervous wait until a last spot in the cup was secured.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Simon Humberstone, Jevon Groves, Garyn Smith, Owen Jenkins, Tomos Williams, Lloyd Williams, Luke Morgan.