The latest episode of Cardiff Blues’ RE:LIVE series saw Paul Tito and Jamie Robinson sit down to look back at the stunning 2007 home win over star-studded Stade Francais.
Wales’ Capital Region made a real mark on the Heineken Cup by securing a comfortable 31-21 win over the French giants.
Although Cardiff Blues would crash out of the tournament in the quarter final against Toulouse, Robinson still vividly remembers the group stage double header against Parisian outfit, Stade.
The former Wales centre recalled: “I remember, we played them the week before out in Paris on a horrible, wet night.
“It was going to be a big kicking game, because it was cold and wet, but we had no 10 on the bench and Nicky tore his quad after two minutes.
“That meant that Spicey had to go to 10 and Richie Rees came on at 9. We only just lost and were right on their line at the end.
“You had Spicey box kicking from 10, because he couldn’t do anything else, and we did well to hang in there.
“Stade were good at the time and they were one of the top teams in France. We came away from that, having played that game with 14 men you could say, and we thought we could really pull one out if we had a good performance.
“I remember seeing Bastareaud, and no one had heard of him at the time, he would’ve only been 19 or 20.
“I looked at Shanks, and Shanks looked at me, as this massive cannonball came running on. We were thinking ‘who the hell is this guy?’
“He was more athletic at the time, but still an unit.
“The day after this, back in the days where it wasn’t frowned upon as much, we did a pub golf on the Sunday.
“The whole team bought into it and it was a great day.
“I only remember because I’d arranged it and Dai pulled me in on the Friday asking if my head was in the game, because all I’d spoken about was the pub golf.
“If we’d lost it, Monday would’ve been Dai pulling us in and saying our heads wasn’t in it.”
Tito, who played against Stade in his debut season and would go on to captain the region, has fond memories of the squads he was involved with at the Welsh capital, and paid tribute to the under-rated Taufa’ao Filise, who became the region’s most capped player.
‘Fish’ added: “There’s no hiding the fact that we did really well with this team, so going to work on a Monday was really enjoyable for me.
“Dai was running a good clutter and we had a lot of experienced players and we did really well.
“We didn’t hit the peak like we would’ve liked to, but got close a couple of times.
“You look at the squad and there’s a lot of depth in here and some bloody good players.
“Whenever we talk about winning the big games and being at our best, the unsung hero for us was Fa’ao.
“When he had a good game for us we’d normally pump teams and at Twickenham against Gloucester he was on fire and everything flowed for us.
“His carrying, his scrummaging, his lifting - he had a really big impact on the game as a tighthead prop.”