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15th October 2005

Leinster came out on top against Cardiff Blues in the first rugby game to be played at the Royal Dublin Society ground at Ballsbridge.

There was certainly a bit of a party atmosphere around the place before kick off with the travelling Blues fans enjoying the Irish hospitality and numerous children’s activities proving to be very popular with the Leinster youngsters.

It was Leinster who had the flying start when in the second minute the ball was spread wide to Shane Horgan who chipped through, the Leinster Captain Felipe Contepomi hacked the ball on as the Blues defence came across but the ball bounced kindly in to Contepomi’s hands to score under the posts, he converted the try.

Nicky Robinson got the Blues on the scoreboard bagging two penalties in the 6th and 10th minute. Leinster seemed to be more in control of the game in the opening period and Shane Horgan capitalised when he threw a dummy and broke through the Cardiff Blues defence to score. Contepomi converted to bring the score to 14 – 6.

The Blues were caught out once more as the ball went wide to Horgan who chipped though, however this time it was Gordon D’arcy who chipped ahead and was first to the ball to score, converted once more by Contepomi.

The pressure on the Cardiff Blues continued and it was only excellent recovery play by Rob Sidoli that stopped a certain try. However Leinster did not have to wait long as the ball went wide to the left for Denise Hickie to score. The tail end of the first half saw the Blues fight back and a penalty inside the Leinster 22 following good work by Mike Phillips bought the score on the half to Leinster 26 - Cardiff Blues 12

Half Time Leinster 26 - Cardiff Blues 12

The Blues looked to be a more attacking side straight from the restart and were rewarded with a penalty converted by Nicky Robinson but Leinster responded and moved up to the Cardiff Blues 22. Solid defending kept them out for the time being.

Kort Schubert having recovered from a knee injury came on in place for Maama Molitika, and the second half also saw Marc Stcherbina coming off the bench for his first game for the Blues. The Australian showed great speed when he produced and excellent break, however there was no support at hand. The vocal home crowd got behind their team and a penalty for offside inside Blues 22 was kicked by Contepomi bringing the score to 29 – 15 .

Over zealous rucking in the 68th minute by Mike Phillips lead to a fight breaking out and the young scrum half was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. From the ensuing penalty Leinster broke downfield all the way to the Cardiff Blues tryline. However, once there another fight broke out and this time it was the Leinsterman, Ronan McCormack who received yellow card and joined Phillips in the sin bin.

The home side kept up the pressure and Kieran Lewis nearly scored following a chip through, the line beat him and Marc Stcherbina. However Leinster didn’t have to wait long, when a kick through by Keith Gleeson saw second row Ben Gissing pushing Ryan Powell aside to score his second try and bring the score to 34 -15 at the very end of the game.