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Cardiff Blues 22 Munster 13

1st September 2006

Cardiff Blues kicked off the first ever Magners League game and got off to a good start with Marc Stcherbina passing to Mosese Luveitasau who came in on the scissors.

The ball was lost to Munster, but the Blues were awarded a penalty that Nick Robinson converted.Jeremy Manning soon levelled the scores when Munster were awarded a penalty.

It was dry warm night and a crowd of over 8,500 turned up to watch what promised to be lively game with both teams trying to run the ball. Munster’s defence looked solid whenever the Blues tried to attack but the Blues kept recycling the ball well and spread it out wide but Chris Czekaj just failed to hold on to the final pass when the try line beckoned. Minutes later and excellent break and support play from Munster saw them come to within 10metres of the try line but some last gasp tackling by the Cardiff Blues saw them clear their line. Luveitasau showed his pace once more when he sprinted 70 yards to chase a Nicky Robinson kick that Munster eventually managed to scramble away. Munster were again awarded another penalty but this time Manning was just wide with this attempt.

A clever kick by Rhys Thomas saw the Cardiff Blues drive Munster to the corner after some good chasing from Czekaj. The touch judge stepped in having spotted and infringement and referee awarded a penalty to the Blues that Robinson just hit wide. The second period of the first half was a bit scrappy but there were glimpses of excitement when Nick Robinson neatly chipped over the top and threw pass that drew in the Munster full back, but Xavier Rush just failed to hold on to the pass with no one in front of him and the try line.

Rhys Thomas was once again in the middle of the action when he broke away from a ruck and sprinted 30 yards but was just held up short of the try line. The Blues took a quick penalty when Munster killed the ball they failed to retreat 10 yards when Cardiff Blues and the Blues converted from the resulting penalty to bring the score to 6-3. Another penalty was awarded just on the stroke of half time to bring the score to 9-3. It wasn’t a high scoring half but an entertaining one and the feeling was that if the Blues could score one try many would follow

Half Time
Cardiff Blues 9 Munster 3

The referee awarded a penalty to Munster when it looked as if they knocked the ball on and Manning slotted the kick. The Blues however kept plugging at Munster and from the base of a ruck Martyn Williams popped the ball up to Nicky Robinson who passed to Stcherbina, the Australian centre threw a clever inside dummy before passing the ball out to Chris Czekaj to sprint over for a try. The young winger was having another excellent game for the Blues. The score gave the Blues confidence and Mike Phillips tried a huge drop goal when the ref had his arm out for a penalty, the kick went wide but for some reason the penalty wasn’t awarded.

Mike Phillips was looking sharp and from a quick penalty the ball went out to Czekaj, to Rush, Rhys Thomas showed great hands and threw a neat pass out to new recruit Scott Morgan who ran in from 25 yards. Cardiff’s second try brought the score to 19-6. The Blues looked dangerous and kicked for the corner when a penalty was awarded. They won the ball and the ball went wide to Mosese who ran straight for line when he had a man outside. However, the Blues were awarded a penalty, but it hit the post. They were soon awarded another penalty and took it quickly but a Munster player tackled form an offside position and was yellow carded. Nicky Robinson kicked for goal and this time it went straight through the posts. The Blues were building a lead but Munster substitute Tim Ryan broke away from a ruck and despite a last ditch tackle just managed to cross over the line for a try converted by outside half Jeremy Manning to bring the final score to 22-13


15 Rhys Williams, 14 Chris Czekaj, 13 Jamie Robinson, 12 Marc Stcherbina
11 Mosese Luveitasau, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Mike Phillips 8 Xavier Rush (C)
7 Martyn Williams, 6 Scott Morgan, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Tufaao Filise, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Gethin Jenkins, 16 John Yapp, 17 Gareth Williams
18 Bradley Davies, 19 Robin Sowden-Taylor, 20 Wayne Evans, 21 Nick Macleod, 22 Tom Shanklin


15 Christian Cullen, 14 Shaun Payne, 13 John Kelly (C), 12 James Downey, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Jeremy Manning, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Coughlan
7 John O'Sullivan, 6 Ross Noonan, 5 Chris Wyatt, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Federico Pucciariello, 2 Frank Sheahan, 1 Darragh Hurley, 16 Sean Cronin
17 Tim Ryan, 18 Shane O'Connor, 19 Brendan Cuttriss, 20 Gerry Hurley
21 Eoghan Hickey, 22 Mossy Lawlor