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Cardiff Blues 23-9 Leicester

Cardiff Blues (6) 23
Tries: J Robinson, Spice Cons: Blair 2 Pens: Blair 3

Leicester (3) 9
Pens: Hougaard 3


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Highlights: Cardiff Blues 23-9 Leicester

The Blues put one foot in the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals with a decisive win over Leicester at the Arms Park.

Cardiff led 6-3 at the interval after a lacklustre first half, Ben Blair and Derick Hougaard with the kicks for their respective sides.

But after the break the home side showed their attacking intentions and took control of the game.

Jamie Robinson's 45th-minute try opened the scoring before a Jason Spice second on 79 minutes killed off the Tigers.

The Blues opening the scoring on the afternoon with their first incursion into the visitors' territory with a Blair penalty to make it 3-0 after six minutes.

The Kiwi full-back doubled his side's lead on 13 minutes with a second from 45 metres after another infringement by the Leicester forwards.

Following these opening salvos the game failed to develop into any kind of spectacle as both sides failed to capitalise on their possession.

Wales coach Warren Gatland at the Arms Park
Gatland was on hand to watch Halfpenny and Powell's displays

Any Cardiff breaks were let down by poor handling while Leicester's own chances were foiled by lost footing.

The only bright points for the home side came through a couple of trademark runs by number eight Andy Powell and winger Leigh Halfpenny.

Both showed why they have been included in the latest national squad for the upcoming autumn test series and must have impressed the watching Wales coach Warren Gatland.

For the visitors the combination of Jordan Crane and Harry Ellis showed some promise but neither could create anything concrete to put points on the board.

Instead, the English side's only score of the opening 40 minutes came through their South African outside-half Hougaard, who made it 6-3 at half-time with a late penalty.

From the opening minute of the second half Cardiff showed their attacking intentions, with Halfpenny breaking down field before being brought down on halfway before he spotted Blair coming up clear on his outside.

Cardiff centre Jamie Robinson
Centre Robinson opened the scoring in the second-half

But the opening try of the afternoon was not long off and on 45 minutes giant Cardiff centre Jamie Roberts broke the Leicester defence on halfway.

After making his way towards his opponents' 22 he then slipped a simple pass inside to fellow midfield man Jamie Robinson, who finished under the posts.

Blair converted the 45th minute try before Hougaard replied with a penalty on 49 minutes to make the score 13-6.

As the game entered the final quarter Leicester started to make some headway with their best spell of the match.

But they could not convert their pressure into a try and some stout Cardiff defending limited them to another Hougaard penalty and their final score of day.

With the scores now at 13-9, Cardiff stepped up their pace with 15 minutes to go with front rower Taufa'ao Filise stopped just before the line after charging through the Leicester defence and Jamie Robinson missing out on his second with the try line begging.

Home pressure

As the home side piled on the pressure Crane's poor pass put Toby Flood in trouble under his own posts with Blair converting his third penalty of the afternoon after the centre failed to let go of the ball.

On 75 minutes Cardiff centre Robinson was denied another try after a forward pass from winger Richard Mustoe.

However, a final try was always in the offing and after more attacking pressure from Halfpenny, Williams and Blair opened the space up for scrum-half Spice to cross on 79 minutes.

The Blues now enter next weekend's final round of EDF Energy Cup pool games at the top of Group B with eight points and need only a result against Bath to make it to the competition's semi-finals.


Cardiff Blues: Blair; Halfpenny, J Robinson, Roberts, Mustoe; N Robinson, Spice; Yapp, G Williams, Filise, D Jones, Tito (capt), Molitika, Sowden Taylor, A Powell.
Replacements: R Thomas for G Williams (66), M Williams for Sowden Taylor (66).
Not used: G Powell, S Morgan, R Rees, Sweeney, Shanklin.

Leicester: Murphy; Rabeni, Hipkiss, Flood, Smith; Hougaard, Ellis; Stankovich, Chuter, White, Blaze, Wentzel, Corry (capt), Croft, Crane.
Replacements: Kay for Wentzel (67), Dupuy for Ellis (63), Varndell for Smith (60).
Not used: Kayser, Cole, Deacon, Erinle.

Att: 9,815

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU)

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see also
Tigers aiming for treble - Flood
24 Oct 08 |  Leicester
Blues 37-24 Gloucester
19 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Treviso 16-60 Leicester
18 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2008/9
19 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh


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