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Cardiff Blues beat Saracens

1st October 2005

There was an electric atmosphere at Cardiff Arms Park in the first Anglo Welsh Powergen Cup game to be played there.

The Cardiff Blues fans were already eagerly anticipating their first glimpse of Xavier Rush playing for his new team before the news broke on Friday evening that the Blues had signed fellow Kiwi and rugby’s first global superstar Jonah Lomu.

The British press had turned up earlier in the day to hear Robert Norster, Cardiff Blues Chief Executive confirm that Lomu is expected to arrive in Wales in mid November with a view to making his Cardiff Blues debut in early December.

Having beaten the Scarlets at home and Glasgow away the Blues were full of confidence and got off to a great stat against Saracens. Following period of attacking pressure, Nicky Robinson was just held short of the Saracens try line five minutes in to the match. They did not have to wait long for the first score with Craig Morgan reading the situation well and intercepting a Saracens pass to sprint 40 yards and get the first try. Robinson converted.

Saracens fought back and attacked in to the Blues half but were turned over in the ruck, Craig Quinell popped up on the wing with ball and showing exceptional skill threw a reverse pass behind his back to Chris Czekaj, the young winner had quick hands and flicked on to Jamie Robinson to sprint in to score. Nicky Robinson converted from out wide. Glen Jackson the Saracens kicked a penalty for the visitors but the Blues were soon on the scoreboard again. Excellent work by Andy Powell and Maama Molitika won the ball in the ruck, Nicky Robinson ran an excellent angle to release Rhys Williams, and the full back sprinted up to the 22 and slipped a pass to Robin Sowden-Taylor who scored the try under the posts, converted by Nicky Robinson. The visiting side fought back and Saracens were encamped in the Blues 22 before centre Kevin Sorrel danced through three Blues players to score under the posts, converted by Glen Jackson. The score on the half was Cardiff Blues 24 London Saracens 10.

Half Time Cardiff Blues 24 London Saracens 10

The half time interval confirmation from Robert Norster that the Blues had signed Jonah Lomu and not Joanna Lumley got a huge cheer from the crowd. They had more to cheer in the second half as Nicky Robinson slotted a penalty early on. However Saracens battled back with Glenn Jackson kicking a penalty for the visitors and Matt Cairns scoring a try from a driving maul that Glen Jackson converted. Xavier Rush came off the bench to a warm Cardiff Arms Park welcome. The New Zealander played at number 8 with the outstanding Andy Powell moving to the blindside. The forwards had played outstandingly throughout the match with young hooker Dwayne Goodfield looking very impressive.

The Blues were soon on the scoreboard again with an excellent break form Mike Phillips passing on to Nick Robinson to sprint under the posts and score a try that he converted and secure the bonus point for the Blues. Saracens fought back but the Blues defence was firm and the held on to beat Saracens by 37 points to 20. It was an excellent performance by the whole team from 1 to 22 and the feel good factor in definitely back in Cardiff Arms Park