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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 21:21 GMT
Stade Francais 35-16 Blues
HEINEKEN CUP POOL 6
Julien Arias crosses for his first try
Stade Francais (21) 35
Tries: Arias (2), Roncero, Sarramea
Cons: Skrela (2), Henandez
Pens: Skrela (3)
Blues (9) 16
Try: Yapp
Con: Macleod
Pens: Macleod (3)
Att: 11,900
A bonus-point try deep in injury time took Stade Francais five points clear at the top of Heineken Cup Pool Six.

The under-strength Blues, on a run of seven successive defeats, battled hard at the Stade Jean Bouin before Julien Arias got the first try on 19 minutes.

Arias for his second before the break, and Rodrigo Roncero's try edged the home side closer to a crucial bonus.

John Yapp's try helped the Blues fight back, before replacement Olivier Sarramea crossed in the 88th minute.

The visitors had most of the early territory with the wind at their backs and led twice in the first quarter as Nick Macleod put over two penalties to one from David Skrela.

But 21-year-old wing Arias was put in after good work by Christophe Dominici and Juan Hernandez.

Skrela and Macleod exchanged penalties before Dominici again put Arias over after 38 minutes, with a conversion and third penalty from Skrela making it 21-9 at the break.

We're obviously disappointed with the loss but I thought the players gave it everything they had
Cardiff coach David Young

The Blues raised their game to withstand intensive Stade Francais pressure after the interval, but the breakthrough came on 55 minutes as prop Roncero was awarded a try on the verdict of the video referee, Skrela adding the extra points.

Stade Francais sent on a string of substitutes, while Freddie Tuilagi replaced Rhys Williams in the Blues line up.

It was the Welsh side who registered the next try, prop Yapp going over after 76 minutes following good work by the forwards, Macleod coverting.

Stade eventually bagged their bonus point through Sarramea deep into injury time.

With Gloucester slipping up in Ulster the Paris side need only avoid a heavy defeat in Kingsholm to top the group.


Stade Francais: J Hernandez; J Arias, S Glas, B Liebenberg, C Dominici; D Skrela, A Pichot; R Roncero, M Blin, P de Villiers, D Auradou (capt), M James, P Rabadan, Mauro Bergamasco, S Sowerby.
Replacements: A Castola, P Lemoine, O Brouzet, R Martin, R Poulain, O Sarramea, J Fillol.

Blues: R Williams; J Vaughton, T Shanklin, T Davies, C Morgan; N Macleod, R Smith; J Yapp, G Williams, B Evans, D Jones, R Sidoli, N Thomas, R Sowden-Taylor, K Schubert.
Replacements: M Jones, R Thomas, N Budgett, M Williams, D Dewdney, S James, F Tuilagi.

Referee: Rob Dickson (Scotland).




SEE ALSO
Heineken Cup 2004/5
22 Oct 04 |  European Club


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