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Cardiff Blues 15 Connacht 13

18th November 2006

Five penalties from the lethal boot of Ben Blair saw Cardiff Blues fight back for a narrow victory at the Arms Park.

A shaky start from the Cardiff Blues saw Connacht awarded a scrum from their kick off after a knock on and the visitors drove for the line. When they eventually spread the ball wide Matt Mostyn came in to the line and crossed for a try near the posts. Paul Warwick converted to put the Cardiff Blues 0-7 down in less than two minutes. Matt Mostyn injured himself scoring the try and was replaced by Conor McPhillips. Minutes later Blair kicked penalty to put the home side on the scoreboard.

Connacht were awarded a penalty for dangerous tackle by Luveitasau that Warwick converted, the Irish province were looking dangerous winning a lot of possession and breaking through the Blues defence far too easily.

The Blues were fielding a young side and were missing 8 players on international duty, however a good kick by Robinson and chasing by Czekaj and Stcherbina put Blues in Connact twenty two. They worked through the phases before the Blues were awarded a penalty elected to kick to corner. From the lineout they tried to spread the ball but the move broke down and Connacht broke away in to the Blues half where they kicked a penalty to extend their lead.

Cardiff Blues fought back at the end of the first half and were awarded a penalty that Blair converted. A penalty for Connacht and line out drive in the corner followed by a clever cross kick by Warwick nearly saw MCPhillips score a try in the corner. However the Blues hung on but worryingly went in to the break 9-13 down.


There was more urgency in the Blues play at the start of the second half but the Connacht defence was solid. Mark McHugh came on for Warwick and his tactical kicking would prove to be very effective for the visitors

Nicky Robinson with up’n’unders put pressure on Connacht and the Blues were awarded another penalty on 60 minutes that Blair converted to bring the Blues to within a point of Connacht. The home side then pushed up-field and some neat moves in midfield saw the Blues awarded a scrum five yards out. The Blues wheeled the scrum and Xavier Rush came close to the line but was just held up, Duane Goodfield continued the pressure but was also held short. Another scrum and powerful drive saw the Blues fail to cross the line again and they were eventually awarded a penalty that Blair converted to give the home side the lead for the first time.

The Blues improved a lot in the later stages of the second half and attacked in the Connacht half. Tom James looked threatening again in his second match but they failed to score a try but did manage to get the win that takes them to 5th in the league.