Cardiff Blues suffer loss to the Scarlets in their new home.
Scarlets 27 Cardiff Blues 13
Saturday 20 December 5.30pm kick off, Parc y Scarlets
It was the first game at the new Parc y Scarlets stadium for the Cardiff Blues but it was Stephen Jones who got the first points of the match with a penalty in the 9th minute. However, from the restart Leigh Halfpenny slotted one to equalise from 45 yards out.
The Blues were putting themselves under pressure not collecting high balls and constantly letting the ball be knocked back. This lead to another Stephen Jones penalty, however, this time the Wales outside half sliced it wide. Halfpenny was unlucky with a considerably more difficult kick a few minutes later from the half way line.
Neither side looked threatening with both teams putting in high kicks and not looking to run the ball. Allinson, however, did put in a nice break supported by Thomas as the Blues finally looked to run it. They were awarded a penalty from the move but this time Sweeney struck it wide. To add to the misery Halfpenny struck a relatively easy effort wide minutes later.
Jones kicked another penalty for the Scarlets following sustained period of pressure from the home team to give the Scarlets the lead at 6-3. Again the lead didnt last for long when from the restart the Scarlets were penalised and Sweeney converted.
The breakthrough for the Scarlets nearly came when the Blues turned the ball over and Yapp flipped up a pass for King to intercept. A solid Halfpenny tackle put the Kiwi down and the Blues got away when King was penalised for failing to release when only yards from the try-line.
The Scarlets were looking dangerous and finally scored the try just before half time following good work by Stephen Jones. From a ruck on the try-line young scrum half Martin Roberts, threw a dummy and snuck over to score.
Half time Scarlets 11 Cardiff Blues 6
The Blues were dealt a blow early in the second half when Jamie Robinson was shown a yellow card for not rolling away. The Blues were lucky that Stephen Jones struck the relatively easy penalty wide. Another Martin Roberts break down the blind side nearly resulted in a second Scarlets try, but again Halfpenny did well to shadow his man, and snuff out the attack. Halfpenny who had had a good match soon left the field inured, with Robinson coming on in his place.
The Blues were in a period of pressure and the score again came for the home side with Phil John crashing over and Jones converting. The Blues struck back with a superb effort. Just inside the Scarlets half, Nicky Robinson passed long to Mustoe, who had the speed and strength to cut back inside to touch down. Sweeney struck the conversion cleanly to bring the score to 18-13.
Despite the Blues coming back, Stephen Jones extended the lead with two penalties with only ten minutes left of the match. The nail in the coffin for the Blues was a fourth Jones penalty that gave the Scarlets a 24 -13 lead. He added another to give the final score 27-13 and seal the first victory for the Scarlets in their new home.
15 Leigh Halfpenny (49off) 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Jamie Robinson 12 Gareth Thomas 11 Tom James 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Darren Allinson 8 Maama Molitika 7 Robin Sowden Taylor (c) 6 Ben White (62on) 5 Scott Morgan 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufaau Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 John Yapp 16 Gary Powell 17 Gareth Williams 18 Deiniol Jones (62on) 19 Damian Welch 20 Jason Spice 21 Nicky Robinson (49on) 22 Chris Czekaj
Tries Mustoe x 1
Pens Halfpenny x 1 Sweeney x 1
Cons Sweeney x 1
Tries Phil John x 1 M Roberts x 1
Pens S Jones x 5
Cons S Jones x 1
Yellow card Jamie Robinson