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BBC Sport's Rob Jones
"Cardiff controlled most phases of the game"
 real 14k

Man-of-the-match Rob Howley
"You have to give credit to the boys, they did well."
 real 14k

David Young talks to BBC Wales' Graham Thomas
"We still have one or two things to work on."
 real 14k

BBC Wales' Huw Llywellyn Davies
"Cardiff's victory was fully deserved."
 real 14k

Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Sullivan seals Cardiff victory
Rhys Williams celebrates the first Cardiff try
Rhys Williams celebrates the first Cardiff try
Cardiff 25-17 Northampton

Former rugby league star Anthony Sullivan scored a superb try to help open Cardiff's Heineken Cup account with victory over Northampton at the Arms Park.

Sullivan scored the clinching touchdown after a controversial Rob Howley try had fired a Saints comeback.

Northampton, the 1999/2000 winners, welcomed back their Scottish contingent, while Matt Dawson was fit to play his 200th game for the Saints.

Injury-hit Cardiff had to put four front-row players on the bench leaving them with no other forward cover.

But they soon took the lead with a Nicky Robinson penalty after Northampton were penalised for going over the top.

The Cardiff fly-half then hit the post with another effort before a Blue & Blacks' forward drive saw Northampton infringe again.

Nick Robinson is collared by the Northampton defence
Nick Robinson is collared by the Northampton defence
This time, on the right side for a left-footed kicker, the 19-year-old made no mistake to make it 6-0.

Cardiff were on top in the possession stakes and a Rob Appleyard charge was stopped by a last-ditch tackle from Ben Cohen.

But Northampton were still under pressure and a late tackle by Andrew Blowers on Rob Howley gave Robinson another chance, but the youngster hooked the ball wide.

Cardiff's Matt Allen, playing against his former club, then clashed heads with Nick Beal, and the Saints man came off worse with a suspected broken nose and was replaced by Luca Martin.

Nick Beal is stopped by Jamie Robinson
Nick Beal is stopped by Jamie Robinson
Robinson missed another penalty chance before Northampton made their first foray into Cardiff territory thanks to Blowers, but Cohen dropped John Leslie's pass.

Another missed Robinson kick five minutes after the break gave Cardiff a chance after Tom Smith knocked on in front of his posts.

The home side worked a blind-side move and full-back Rhys Williams sprinted through to touch down with Robinson converting.

Northampton hit straight back with a Paul Grayson penalty after Cardiff were penalised for going to ground.

The Blue & Blacks kept up the pressure, but two bad line-outs cost them chances of adding to their tally.

They did score again, after 62 minutes, but in controversial circumstances.

Matt Allen gets to grips with ex-team-mate Ben Cohen
Matt Allen gets to grips with ex-team-mate Ben Cohen
Howley bundled his way through the forwards and seemed to lose possession as he grounded the ball.

But referee Joel Jutge gave the try, much to Northampton's disgust, and Robinson converted to make it 20-3.

The injustice seemed to wake the Saints up and a period of pressure ended with replacement Ali Hepher - who had just replaced Grayson - diving over and he converted his own try.

Cardiff hit back with a fine move involving Williams, Anthony Sullivan and Andrew Lewis, which ended with former rugby league star Sullivan appearing again to drive over and make it 25-10,

Northampton weren't going to lie down though, and Grant Seely powered over after a fine Mark Tucker run, with Hepher converting.


Cardiff: Tries: R Williams, R Howley, A Sullivan. Cons: N Robinson (2). Pens: N Robinson (2).

Northampton: Tries: A Hepher, G Seely. Cons: A Hepher (2) Pen: P Grayson.


Cardiff: R Williams; A Henry, J Robinson, M Allen, A Sullivan; N Robinson, R Howley; S John, A Lewis, D Young (capt), C Quinnell, J Tait, F Mounier, S Sititi, R Appleyard.
Reps: K Fourie, G Woods, A Booth, P Jones, C Miller, G Powell, P Rogers.

Northampton: P Grayson; N Beal, M Tucker, J Leslie, B Cohen; J Brooks, M Dawson; T Smith, S Thompson, M Stewart, A Newman, J Phillips, A Blowers, G Seely, B Pountney (capt).
Reps: S Brotherstone, K Todd, R Hunter, M Soden, D Malone, L Martin, A Hepher.

Referee: J Jutge (France).

Attendance: 7,000.

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