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Leinster 16 v Cardiff Blues 9

16th September 2006

A Cardiff Blues team that showed 10 changes to the side that faced Ospreys on Wednesday took the field against Leinster on a warm Saturday evening.

A stray pass early on by Contemopni caused confusion in the Cardiff ranks and Leinster attacked but a good interception by Martyn Williams saw the Blues clear their lines. Leinster showed adventure and ran from anywhere. The Blues placed themselves under unnecessary pressure with a mix up, spilling the ball in defence in their own twenty two, however Leinster failed to score when the referee awarded offside after Contepomi’s neat little grubber kick through was collected by a Leicester player and touched down.

The Blues were also applying pressure with some tactical kicking from Nic Macleod but it was an up and under from Luveitasau that saw a ruck form on the edge of the Leinster twenty two and Cardiff Blues awarded a penalty. Ben Blair stepped up in the 18th minute to kick his first points for the Cardiff Blues and the first point of the night. Marc Stcherbima left the field in the 18th minute with an injury to his right thigh and two minutes later Contepomi stepped up for penalty but missed. However he soon made up for his miss when Leinster were awarded another penalty

From the restart the Blues were instantly awarded a penalty for obstruction and Blair once again converted. Nick Macleod was tackling solidly and Martyn Williams was scavenging for the ball and it appeared that the Blues were gathering momentum. However in the 37th minute Leinster attacked from their own half and some neat inter passing saw them move up to the Blues tryline. Whittacker slipped the ball from the base of the ruck and Berne slipped over in the corner for a try that Contepomi converted. More pressure from Leinster followed but this time the Blues managed to stave off the attacks.

Half Time Leinster 10 Cardiff Blues 6

Early in the the second half Gary Powell was yellow carded for fighting and Contepomi converted the penalty. With Cardiff down to 14 men Leinster applied more pressure but despite the numerical advantage they failed to capitalise because of the solid Cardiff Blues defence. A penalty on the half way line saw Ben Blair step up again but this time he struck the ball just wide.
Regie Corrigan and Bernard Jackman came on for Leinster and Scott Morgan and Rob Sidoli came on for James Goode and Mark Lewis. Ed Fairhurst soon followed to make his debut when he replaced Wayne Evans and the Blues awarded penalty for offside that Blair converted to bring the score to Leinster 13 Cardiff Blues 9.

A Cardiff Blues kick was charged down but cleared on the second chance but only just. Leinster awarded a line out on 5 metre line but some solid defence saw the Blues keep the home side out only to see them awarded a penalty that Contepomi converted. The score stood at 16 -9 with 10 minutes left.

The Blues were awarded a penalty for pulling down in the line out and kicked to the corner but they failed to capitalise on their field position. Leinster’s defence was solid whenever Cardiff attacked and tempers boiled over with some fighting. Bradley Davies was also soon given a yellow card for pulling down in line out so the Blues were once again down to 14 men. Cardiff had a last gasp attack with some quick penalties and Will Green soon joined Davies for pulling back a player as he chased chip through. A line out on Leinster line saw Scott Morgan win the ball cleanly but as the ball went out a crunching tackle saw the ball spill out of Martyn Williams’s hands and despite some heavy pressure Leinster managed to cling on to their lead.