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Cardiff Blues 30 Connacht 12

29th April 2006

Cardiff Blues were aiming to make it six wins out of six as they took on Connacht at the Arms Park.

However, it was Connacht who got the first score of the match when Mark McHugh kicked a penalty after the Blues had drifted offside but Nick Macleod soon levelled with a penalty of his own. The only threat of the first half came when Mike Phillips broke from his own half and showed a flash of genius and a bit more as he went through the Connacht defence. With a further exchange of penalties the score midway through the first half was six all. Despite sustained pressure from Cardiff Blues they failed to cross the tryline and it was Connacht who had the lead at half time. The break saw a huge amount of supporters enter the Pack Lounge to purchase their tickets for Cardiff Blues v Leinster match at the Millennium Stadium with over 1,000 tickets being sold in a 10 minute period.


The Blues knew they would have to lift their performance to get a win out of the match and they had a great start when Robin Sowden-Taylor broke through the Connacht defence. A few minutes later Nick Macleoad produced an excellent break and looped a pass out to Marc Stcherbina. The Australian still had a lot of work to do but left three Connacht defenders for dead to cross for the first try of the match converted by Macleod. The try seemed to give a bit of momentum to the Blues and a period of play saw the Connacht defence under a huge amount of pressure as they failed to break out of their own half. Strong rucking by the forwards saw the ball move to the backs. Marc Stechrbina straightened the line and with Martyn Williams in the back line also, the over lap worked when the ball was spread to the left wing where Gethin Jenkins crossed over for the second try, converted by Macleod. The Blues were in the ascendancy and an excellent break and pass by Rhys Williams put Macleoad in the gap. The young outside half unselfishly passed the ball out just before the try line but the ball was intercepted and cleared by Connacht. The Blues didnÂ’t have to wait too long for the third try when Macleod again broke and passed to Czekaj who showed excellent strength to take two men out and pass to Stcherbina who crossed for his second try of the match. The conversion by Macleod was the final score of the match and the Blues now have three huge matches as they take on the other three Irish provinces starting with Ulster next Friday.