Cardiff Blues U18s fell to a narrow defeat at Sardis Rd yesterday afternoon in the sun against their counterparts from Irelands capitol.
In a lively opening it was the Blues who had the first opportunity to put points on the board. Following a sustained Leinster attack the away side were penalised for not rolling away, three further penalties moved the Blues down-field only to see outside half Diggy Bird push the kick just wide. But is was Leinster who eventually scored first, gaining the possession near their 22, a chip and chase by scrum half Peter du Toit saw him collect the ball and put Colin Mallon in under the posts, Ferdia Docherty converted. Five minutes later and it was 10-0 to the visitors, Docherty again the scorer from a scrum penalty.
Back came the Blues with industrious flanker Thomas Young going over for what seemed like the Blues first score only for the referee to give it as held up. From the resulting scrum the Blues were penalised for crossing and Leinster were able to clear. The Blues had the majority of the ball but stout defence was keeping them out. Eventually though the pressure told and Bird was able to put three points on the board for the home side as the whistle blew for the interval. Half time score 3-10.
The Blues started the second half as if they meant business, camped on the Leinster line for long periods. The defence though still held, turning ball over and showing adventure by running the ball out from behind their line on several occasions. One such attack nearly leading to another try, only a great cover tackle and the corner flag preventing the points. The blues pressure eventually told, No 8 Maller was yellow carded for not rolling away, replacement outside half Kieran Olden kicked the penalty.
More Blues pressure meant more penalties, and Olden was able to bring the home side to within a point with 10 minutes left to play. The Blues though failed to deal with the restart and gave away a simple shot at goal which Docherty accepted for a 13-9 lead.
Back came the Blues with time running out they threw everything at the Dubliners, the ball though was turned over and again Leinster ran the ball from behind their own line, this time though it was once too often, Young scrapped for the ball, won the turnover, and from the scrum prop Dan Crimmings was on hand to score what looked likely to be the winning try. Leinster however were to have the last say, with time nearly up one last raid into the Blues half ended with a penalty award which Docherty landed to give the away side victory.
After the game Regional High Performance Manager Gafyn Cooper said The team showed great character to come back from being 10 points down, now they need to learn that having made the come back how to close out a game