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Cardiff Blues 3 Perpignan 21

14th January 2006

An 11,462 crowd came to the Arms Park to see the Heineken Cup crunch match between Cardiff Blues and Perpignan and it was the hosts who got the first score when they drove up field and Perpigngan went over the top in a ruck.

Nick Macleod kicked the penalty to give Blues the lead. Opposite number Nicolas Laharrague then missed a penalty for the visitors but they were soon on the scoreboard when hooker Marius Tincu broke through midfield and passed to Centre Jean-Philippe Grandclaude. He had the pace round the Cardiff Blues defence and score in the corner. A period of attacking play followed from the Blues when they were awarded a penalty and kicked for a line out in the visitors twenty two. However, the Perpignan defence was solid and they managed to clear their line. Cardiff Blues came close to scoring again following some good work by Jonah Lomu out on the wing, he passed to Jamie Robinson but the Welsh Centre’s foot crossed in to touch just as he appeared close to scoring. With no further score in the first half the teams went in at the break Cardiff Blues 3 Perpignan 5

Half Time Cardiff Blues 3 Perpignan 5

With the game finely balanced at the break it was Perpignan who got the first score of the second half after Cardiff Blues went in from the wrong side in a ruck with the resulting penalty being converted by Laharrague. They were soon awarded another penalty when Blues went over the top in a ruck and Laharrague converted. The Blues aimed to get back in the game when Mike Phillips took a quick penalty only to be tackled before the Perpignan defence had retreated ten. With the referee giving Blues and the extra ground Nick Macleod struck the kick but the ball bounced off the post for Perpginans to clear and it was the Catalan side that got the next score when Laharrague converted his third penalty to bring the score to Cardiff Blues 3 Perpignan 14. The game seemed to be drifting away from the home side and it was Perpignan who got the final score when they were awarded a scrum in the Cardiff blues twenty two. A speculative chip through and an awkward bounce deceived the Cardiff Blues defence and saw Perpignan substitute David Marty score the try converted by Laharrague to bring the final score Cardiff Blues 3 Perpignan 21.