A sunny afternoon in Italy saw the much anticipated debut of rugby legend Jonah Lomu.
SATRUDAY 10 DECEMBER 2.00PM KICK OFF Stadio Caomunale
The announcement on Thursday that Jonah would be starting the match ensured that there was a capacity crowd watching the Heineken Cup clash in the small town of Calvisano. Nicky Robinson got the Blues ahead with a penalty before they extended their lead further when a the Blues won a line out and Lomu broke in to the line, the ball was carried forward by Andy Powell and Xavier Rush before going wide to Sidoli who scored far out on the left. Any ideas that the Italians were a pushover were quickly dismissed as they drove up to the Cardiff twenty two a neat chip through by full back Van Schalkwyk was chased by winger Emiliano Mulieri who was first for the touchdown with the try converted by outside half Hercules Kruger.
The Cardiff Blues soon fought back when Nicky Robinson put in an up and under in to the Calvisano half, good work by Chris Czekaj and Andy Powell saw Rhys Thomas come to inches of crossing the line, however they didnt have to wait long as once again the ball went left from the ruck with Martyn Williams crossing for a try. A nasty cut above the eye forced Martin Jones to leave the field for treatment and saw Gethin Jenkins take to the field for the first time this season. The Blues continued the pressure and excellent breaks from Andy Powell and Xavier Rush driving the Blues up in to the Calvisano half saw Martyn Williams coming close to scoring once again. The Blues couldnt turn their pressure in to points with the only score being a penalty to Calvisano which saw the teams go in at the break. Calvisano 10 Cardiff Blues 13
HALF TIME - CALVISANO 10 v CARDIFF BLUES 13
The start of the second half saw the Cavlisano prop receive a yellow card for continuing to drift offside but the Blues failed to make the most of the extra man as they drove from a line out with the ball being spilt and Calvisano clearing. However they didnt have to wait long when Mike Phillips broke through the Calvisano defence, he passed to Nicky Robinson on his shoulder and the outside half had the quick hands to slip the ball to Rhys Williams to score an excellent try.
The hour mark saw Jamie Robinson take to the field in place of Jonah Lomu and the giant New Zealand received rapturous applause from the fans. The travelling Blues fans were cheering again as Mike Phillips who eventually won the man of the match award broke through the defence, Nicky Robinson put in a neat chip for Chris Czekaj to score. Nicky Robinson converted and with the score at Calvisano 10 Cardiff Blues 25 and that is how the game ended. The Blues had travelled to Calvisano and managed to do more than Perpignan had by claiming a valuable bonus point.