36,728 turned up at Principality Stadium to watch Cardiff Blues take on one of the tournament favoruites, Toulouse, with a semi final spot at stake.
Cardiff Blues 9 Stade Toulousain 6
Saturday 11 Apr 2009, 3.00pm, Principality Stadium
As expected, Toulouse had a host of star names in their side, with a star-studded backline full of internationals.
Ben Blair and Frederic Michalak exchanged penalties early on, but it was a tight affair at the Welsh capital, with both sides carefully looking for the breakthrough.
All Blacks scrum half, Byron Kelleher, was denied on the line by fellow Kiwis, Xavier Rush and Jason Spice, with the replays showing the number nine had knocked on.
Toulouse continued to pile pressure on the Cardiff Blues defence, but were denied, and Blair’s second penalty of the afternoon took the hosts into the interval with a three-point lead.
Nicky Robinson and Tom James had the Toulouse defence shaken following stunning breaks from deep, and while there were no tries, Blair did extend his side’s lead from the tee.
Replacement David Skrela made impact from the bench, slotting a penalty and looking dangerous with ball-in-hand.
The hosts remained three points ahead going into the final moments. Toulouse had an opportunity to attack in the final moments, but Leigh Halfpenny made a crucial intervention to force a knock on.
The win saw Cardiff Blues matched up with Leicester Tigers in the semi final, as they would return to the Principality Stadium.
Cardiff Blues: Ben Blair; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Nicky Robinson, Jason Spice; Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Williams, Taufa’ao Filise, Bradley Davies, Paul Tito, Ma’ama Molitika, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush
Replacements: John Yapp, T Rhys Thomas, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Richie Rees, Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Thomas
Stade Toulousain: Maxime Medard; Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans; Frederic Michalak, Byron Kelleher; Daan Human, William Servat, Salvatore Perugini, Fabien Pelous, Patricio Albacete, Jean Bouilhou, Thierry Dusautoir, Shaun Sowerby
Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Yohan Montes, Gregory Lamboley, Yannick Nyanga, David Skrela, Maleli Kunavore, Clement Poitrenaud
Cardiff Blues kick-off their Heineken Champions Cup campaign against Lyon on Sunday, October 14, before returning to the Arms Park to take on Glasgow Warriors a week later.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.