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Cardiff Blues 31 London Irish 7

2nd December 2006

The start of the crunch ECF Cup clash saw an early drop goal attempt by Shane Geraghty of London Irish go just wide.

However the Blues pushed down to Irish corner for early pressure and a line out win by Deiniol Jones saw the forwards drive up-field with good work by Scott Morgan carrying the ball forward. Jamie Robinson nearly scored in the corner before the ball was knocked on. James Goode stole the line out ball and an excellent break in midfield by Stcherbina saw the Australian pass the ball to Mosese Luveitasau who raced across for a try only to be called back for a forward pass.

Excellent scavenging by Martyn Williams winning the ball in Cardiff 22 saw the Blues clearing up field. However an excellent break by London Irish number 9 Richie Rees saw the young scrum half take a quick penalty and sprint he length of the field before drawing his man and giving an excellently timed pass to Justin Bishop who sprinted in for the try converted by Shane Geraghty

Ben Blair got the Blues first points with a penalty minutes later before the ref awarded the Blues a penalty after Irish backs were offside and Blair once again converted.

A huge drive from the lineout followed by some neat work in the backs and then an excellent drive form Rush brought the Blues to within a yard of the Irish try line.

After an intense period of pressure from the Blues and uncompromising tackling from Irish the Blues were awarded another penalty that Blair again converted to take the lead for the first time.

Now the Blues were piling the pressure on Irish and when a ruck formed on the try line the ball was spread to Martyn Williams who threw a clever dummy and crossed for a try converted by Blair. The Blues lead at 16-7 and they soon extended the lead when superb work by Chris Czekaj, catching a difficult ball before beating his man, chipping ahead and despite being obstructed managed to beat Armitage to touch down for a try.


An excellent kick and chasing by Czekaj saw the Blues move in to the London Irish half, early on and from the lineout the Blues drove in to Irish twenty two and again awarded a penalty when the visitors drifted offside. Blair this time missed the kick at goal and Irish worked their way up to the Blues half. London Irish attacked within the Blues 22 but Rhys Thomas did well to turn over the ball, however the clearance kick was charged down and Irish awarded a scrum 5 metres out.

The Exiles tried to spread the ball wide but when the ball was spilled Rhys Thomas again put in a hug clearance from behind his posts. Irish tried to run the ball back form their own twenty two following a turn over but Gethin Jenkins intercepted and nearly crossed for a try.

A scrappy second half saw neither side creating a great deal but Mosese Luveitasau did come close with a chip ahead and a sprint for the line. Having consulted with the third match official the ref gave a scrum to the Blues. A good drive saw them come agonisingly close once again. Mapusua was awarded a yellow card for constant infringement and Blair converted the penalty to take the lead to 24-7.

The Blues pushed forward once again and lovely cross field kick b Nicky Robinson saw Chris Czekaj hold on to the ball and touch down for his second try of the match that sealed a famous win that takes them to the semi final of the EDF Energy Cup.