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Blues Win at Sardis Road - Match Report

20th August 2005

The welcome was warm and the atmosphere was friendly. It was a sunny afternoon in Pontypridd and over 2,000 fans came to watch the Blues play their first game at Sardis Road.

With the Blues giving the chance to experience regional rugby to some of their younger squad members and Pontypridd always a side to give their opponents a tough match, the game itself didn’t disappoint.

Nick Mcleod kicked off proceedings and the Blues soon entrenched themselves in the Pontypridd half. Ryan Powell started the match at a high tempo and an excellent break from the scrum half inside the first five minutes released centre Rhys Williams, his slick passing made the space for Nick Gill to score in the corner on his Blues debut. Mcleod converted to take the score to 0-7.

Gill nearly got his second try within 2 minutes. The Blues No.12, Tristan Davies showed his strength with an excellent break and fed winger Gill who was bundled in to touch just metres short of the Pontypridd try line. The Blues managed to steal the Pontypridd lineout ball and drive over, hooker Gareth Williams emerged from beneath the mound of bodies to claim his first try of the season. With the Blues leading 12-0 within the first 8 minutes many feared the worst for the Pontypridd side. Any thought of a Pontypridd whitewash had clearly not entered the players’ minds.

Pontypridd tried spreading the ball to the wings and a good break and chip into the Blues twenty two resulted in a try for winger Chris Clayton after some excellent work in midfield, with Nathan Strong certainly living up to his name in the confrontations.
A period of sustained pressure in the Pontypridd twenty two followed but the home defence couldn’t keep the Blues out and new Welsh cap Chris Csekaj crossed for a try, with Mcleod converting. The score at half time was Pontypridd 5 Cardiff Blues 19.

With both sides making a number of substitutions at half time the tempo of the game changed. A clean break by Mcleod and good support from Tristan Davies released Maama Molitika who was pulled down just short of the Pontypridd try line. Quick ball from scrum half Ryan Powell fed Jamie Roberts who scored the first of his two tries in his debut match for the Blues. The second try was converted by Dai Flanagan who was also making his debut. Lee Thomas also had a chance to stretch his legs on his old stomping ground and his break and pass led to a Tristan Davies try converted by Dai Flanagan. With the score at 5 - 40 there was only enough time left for Pontypridd centre Gavin Dacey to cross for a try to bring the final score to Pontypridd 10 Cardiff Blues 40.

15 Matthew Nuthall 14 Chris Cezjai 13 Rhys Williams (C) 12 Tristan Davies
11 Nick Gill 10 Nick Macleod 9 Ryan Powell 7 Maama Molitika 8 Mark Lewis
6 Bradley Davies 5 James Goode 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Ben Evans 2 Gareth Williams
1 Nathan Llewellyn 16 Jamie Roberts 17 Craig Morgan 18 Lee Thomas
19 Dai Flanagan 20 Wayne Evans 21 Scott Roberts 22 Martin Jones
23 Dwayne Goodfield 25 Andy Powell

Tries: Jamie Roberts (2), Nick Gill, Gareth Williams, Chris Csekaj, Tristan Davies
Conversions: Nick Mcleod (3) Dai Flannagan (2)