Following victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield, Cardiff Blues and a packed-out Arms Park crowd welcomed Pau to the Welsh capital, with a place in the Challenge Cup final at Bilbao at stake.
Cardiff Blues 16 Pau 10
Saturday 21 Apr 2009, 1.00pm, Cardiff Arms Park
The hosts got off to the perfect start, as Gareth Anscombe claimed a high ball under pressure to put his side on the front foot.
A Jarrod Evans’ perfectly weighted pass released Seb Davies down the centre of the park. The lock galloped downfield, with only Watisoni Votu between him and the line.
However, the Welsh international showed the composure of an experience back to turn the wing inside out before feeding wide to Anscombe, who had a simple task of running in from 15 meters out.
Evans added the conversion, but the visitors struck back against the run of play.
Anscombe’s clearance kick was charged down by Julien Pierre, and 94-times capped All Blacks centre, Conrad Smith, won the footrace to control and gather the loose possession and touch down under the posts.
Tom Taylor slotted the simple conversion, before Evans and the former All Black became embroiled in a kicking battle.
Evans edged his side into a six point lead with only 10 minutes remaining, and Cardiff Blues displayed their grit and determination in defence.
Alex Cuthbert, Garyn Smith and Scott Andrews made some crucial interventions in the final stages, while Olly Robinson and Ellis Jenkins made some trademark turnovers to seal the win and send the Blues to Bilbao!
Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Gethin Jenkins, Kristian Dacey, Anton Peikrishvili, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan
Pau: Charly Malie; Frank Halai, Conrad Smith, Jale Vatubua, Watisoni Votu; Tom Taylor, Thibault Daubagna; Thomas Domingo, Quentin Lespiaucq, Malik Hamadache, Daniel Ramsay, Julien Pierre, Ben Mowen, Sean Dougall, Steffon Armitage
Replacements: Lucas Rey, Ignacio Calles, Lourens Adriaanse, Dave Foley, Paddy Butler, Julien Tomas, Antoine Hastoy, Julien Fumat
Cardiff Blues kicked off their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a stunning victory at Lyon, and will return to the Arms Park to take on Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.
Be there to support the boys! Tickets are available now and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.