Cardiff Blues score eight tries against Calvisano, at the Centro Sportivo San Michele, to gain a bonus point win in their opening game in the tournament!!
Calvisano 20 Cardiff Blues 56
Saturday 11 October - kick off 2.35pm Local Time, 1.35pm UK.
Centro San Michele
It was a scorching afternoon in northern Italy as the Blues took the field for their first Heineken Cup match of the season.
The Blues showed their intent from the start, working the ball through the backs with Gareth Thomas coming into the line and Halfpenny gaining ground. They spread the ball back to the left but it was knocked on when it seemed the Blues would score from the overlap.
It wasnt long until the Blues were on the scoreboard however, with the ball again being spread wide through Robinson and Spice before Molitika popped up on the wing and bulldozed his way through two defenders to score.
Minutes later the Blues were dealt a blow with the French officials generous to the Italians, penalising Shanklin and sending Jones to the bin for a high tackle. Fraser kicked the resulting penalty.
Despite being a man down the Blues nearly scored again when Robinson put a grubber for Gareth Thomas to chase. The Calvisano defender knocked the ball over the dead ball line and the Blues were awarded a penalty. Blair slotted it.
From the restart Ben Blair put in a huge kick across field for Gareth Thomas to gather, however, Calvisano collected but panic in their ranks saw them spread the ball wide trying to clear. Eventually Griffin attempted but his kick was charged down and fell into the hands of Gary Powell who nearly crashed over for a try. When the ball emerged from the ruck Robinson put in a grubber for his brother Jamie, who was fouled and the Blues were awarded a penalty try that Blair converted. Nobody was sent to the sin bin.
From the restart Calvisano attacked and came within yards of the Blues try-line, however the Blues managed to clear but Calvisano did manage to get on the scoreboard minutes later. Number 8 Purll, threw a dummy left at the edge of the ruck and a huge gap in the Blues defence emerged, allowing him to charge in under the posts. Fraser converted and this time Jamie Robinson was sent to the bin for no apparent reason.
Despite being a man down again the Blues managed to get on the scoreboard with a Blair penalty. Calvisano blew an opportunity to make the most of the extra man when McLean overthrew his pass to Forucci with nobody in front of the Italian winger.
They did however gett on the scoreboard through a Griffin penalty just before half time.
Half time Calvisano 13 Cardiff Blues 18
The Blues got off to a great start in the second half. In the Calvisano twenty two, a training ground move saw them throw the ball long in the lineout, all the way over the forwards for Spice to collect and force his way through to the try line. Blair converted.
The fourth try came when the Blues were encamped in the twenty two and eventually spread the ball left. Rhys Thomas did well to take the men out in midfield and pass on to Shanklin to score. Again Blair was accurate with the boot and soon got a try when he sidestepped his way through after receiving an inside ball from Robinson. Again he added the conversion.
Not only were the Blues attacking well but their defence was solid. Hitting men back and gaining ground.
The next try was a beauty. The Blues stole the ball against the head in the scrum and Andy Powell took out the midfield. They spread the ball wide to Blair who showed his pace, he passed inside to Robinson who drew his man and fed Williams. The openside could have scored under the posts but unselfishly passed inside to Nick Robinson to score. Blair converted. The game was secure at 13-46 and the Blues made a number of substitutions.
Calvisano did manage to get one back through hooker Ghiraldini from a cleverly worked lineout move and Raineri converted.
The score didnt trouble the Blues too much who soon got one back when excellent passing along the line saw them work an overlap to put Halfpenny in at the corner.
Alfie got the next one when the Blues threw a long ball again over the lineout and spread the ball left. Calvisano failed to clear and Thomas pounced on the ball to score and round off a great afternoon for the Cardiff Blues and their supporters.
15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Jamie Robinson (70off) 12 Tom Shanklin 11 Gareth Thomas 10 Nicky Robinson (67off) 9 Jason Spice (53off) 8 Andy Powell 7 Martyn Williams 6 Maama Molitka (40off) 5 Paul Tito (53off) 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell 2 T Rhys Thomas (62off) 1 Gethin Jenkins (63off) 16 Taufaao Filise (63on) 17 Gareth Williams (62on) 18 Scott Morgan (53on) 19 Robin Sowden Taylor (40on) 20 Richie Rees (53on) 21 Ceri Sweeney (67on) 22 Jamie Roberts (70on)
Tries Molitika x 1 Pentlay Try x 1 Spice x 1 Shanklin x 1 Blair x 1 N Robinson x 1 Hlafpenny x 1 G Thomas x 1
Pens Blair x 2
Cons Blair x 5
Tries Purll x 1 Ghiraldini x 1
Pens Fraser x 1 Griffin x 1
Cons Fraser x 1 Raineri x 1
Yellow Cards Deiniol Jones, Jamie Robinson