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Cardiff Blues 30 Ospreys 24

23rd December 2006

Three first half tries, scored by Ben Blair (2) and Nick Robinson, give the Blues the platform to record a 30-24 win against the Ospreys.

A near capacity crowd gathered for the first Welsh derby of the season at the Arms Park. The Ospreys threatened early on but the Blues broke out of defence with strong running by Mike Phillips and Czekaj. The Blues were a awarded a penalty that Blair converted, however Henson soon equalised with a 40 yard effort.

The Ospreys once again threatened breaking down the left wing but as Marshall went to pass inside Nicky Robinson popped up to intercept and sprint in for the first try of the match. Following the restart a kick ahead by Rhys Thomas saw the Blues win a line out and excellent mauling saw them drive the ball forward. They spread the ball out and excellent strength by Jamie Robinson saw him hold the defence off and pass out to Ben Blair who sped over for the second try of the match.

The Ospreys seemed to panic having conceded two tries early on and were driven backwards by the Blues defence the best they could offer were attempts at long drop goals. Henson however soon added to his tally with a second penalty but Blair soon kicked one himself.

Shane Williams was proving a tricky customer in the loose but his chip through was intercepted by Blair who sprinted in again, this time from 50 yards out. He also added a touchline conversion to his try.

The Blues were dominating the first half and the Ospreys looked all at sea.
Alun Wyn Jones was pulled down in the line out and the Ospreys opted to kick for the corner they failed to break the Blues defence and when awarded a further penalty opted to kick for the posts that Henson once again converted.

The Blues nearly scored the fourth try late in the first half when Mike Phillips showed great strength to hand off Henson and a further two players breaking in to the Ospreys half. Nicky Robinson passed inside to Czekaj who took the ball to try-line and it was only the half time whistle that stopped the Ospreys from getting a Christmas stuffing.


Early in the second half Brad Davies landed awkwardly in the line out but after a bit of treatment the young second row got back up and carried on the forward battle. The Ospreys threatened but a sloppy pass by Shane Williams saw the ball roll in to touch when a certain try was on. The Blues defence again this week was solid with some excellent tackling driving the visitors back. However they did manage to cross the line with Tiatia touching down in the corner with Henson converting.
The Blues also attacked and lovely passing by Nicky Robinson and Gethin Jenkins released Czekaj, the young winger just failed to hold on ball with the try-line beckoning. On the hour mark James Hook came on for Sonny Parker to try to rejuvenate the Ospreys and within minutes they had worked the ball wide and Ian Evans managed to stretch over and score.

The Blues hadn’t scored throughout the second half until Ben Blair stepped up in the 66th minute to convert his third penalty and extend the lead to 9 points. However, Henson got one back within two minutes.

Tiatia was having an excellent game for the visitors and the Ospreys were fighting back bravely and were again within six points of the Blues with 10 minutes to go. The Blues managed to hold on to their lead even after the 81st minute when Mike Phillips was awarded a yellow card for a spear tackle on Barry Williams. The incident ensured tempers boiled over and when Jason Spice slapped Martyn Williams from behind, the Lions flanker retaliated with a misguided head-butt and was shown the red card. However the Blues had secured their win and gave their supporters an early Christmas present.