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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 September 2006, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Blues 36-20 London Wasps
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins scores the opening try against Wasps
Jenkins gave Cardiff Blues a great start with a sixth-minute try
Cardiff Blues (17) 36
Tries: Jenkins, Czekaj, Luveitasau
Cons: Blair (3)
Pens: Blair (4)
Drop-goal: Robinson

London Wasps (17) 20
Tries: Lewsey, Brooks
Cons: Staunton (2)
Pens: Staunton
Drop-goal: Staunton

A dominant second-half performance gave Cardiff Blues an opening win in the EDF Energy Cup over holders Wasps.

The sides were level 17-17 at the break after Gethin Jenkins and Chris Czekaj crossed for the Blues, with Josh Lewsey and James Brooks grounding for Wasps.

Blues winger Mosese Luveitasau scored the decisive try 15 minutes from time as holders Wasps were restricted to one penalty from fly-half Jeremy Staunton.

Blues full-back Ben Blair kicked 18 points in a faultless display.

Prop Jenkins showed impressive support play to be on Blair's shoulder and dive over on six minutes after the full-back had been caught five yards short of the try line.

There was some confusion in the build-up when play seemed to stop after the touch judge raised his flag believing Blues scrum-half Mike Phillips had gone into touch.

But referee Nigel Owens waved play on and the Blues made the most of the Wasps hesitancy to score the try their lively start deserved.

The visitors began to settle and hit the Blues with two tries in as many minutes.

They drew level on 23 minutes after a period of sustained pressure in the Blues 22 which saw Lewsey wriggle over, benefiting from a rampaging midfield run by centre Fraser Waters.

The second score came straight from the resulting kick-off as fly-half Staunton got his side going from inside his own 22 and some slick interplay released replacement centre Brooks to score.

Staunton converted both from near the right touchline.

Blair's first penalty closed the gap, and then the Blues regained the lead on 34 minutes when Czekaj touched down after a one-two with Martyn Williams. Blair converted.

Staunton and Nicky Robinson exchanged drop-goals either side of the break, before Blair answered Staunton's first penalty to put the Blues 23-20 up after 50 minutes.

Moments earlier, there was a worrying sight for England coach Andy Robinson as Lewsey hobbled off with a hamstring injury.

But Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan later said Lewsey had not suffered a serious injury, and was taken off just as a precaution.

Blair added another penalty on the hour and then Luveitasau scored what proved to be the game-winning try.

The Fijian winger had just wasted a glorious chance by knocking on, but he showed tremendous pace to finish a superb three-quarter move which started inside the Blues half.

The imperious Blair converted the try and had the final say 11 minutes from time with his fourth penalty to wrap up the victory.

  • Blues coach Dai Young:

  • "There are very few games whereby you have an opportunity to change people's perception of you.

    "We have had a lot of lean years, but I wanted the players to make a statement today that we are on our way back.

    "To be honest, in the last couple of seasons in the Heineken Cup, we haven't been good enough, but we are showing now that we are moving forward."

  • Wasps rugby director Ian McGeechan:

  • "We were in the game at half-time, but there was no real flow to us in the second half and we struggled to get the ball away in contact.

    "We are on the back foot now in terms of the pool, but that happens when there are only three group games and you lose the first one."

    On Josh Lewsey, he said: "It was not a pull or a tear. His hamstring was just tightening up, and it was purely precautionary.

    "If England were playing tomorrow, then he would be okay."

    Cardiff Blues: Blair; Czekaj, Riley, Shanklin, Luveitasau; N. Robinson, Phillips; Jenkins, Thomas, Filise, Jones, Sidoli, Morgan, M. Williams, Lewis.
    Replacements: Macleod for Riley (52), Fairhurst for Phillips (73), Goodfield for Thomas (76), Goode for Sidoli (73), White for Morgan (73).
    Not Used: G. Powell, Flanagan.

    Sin Bin: White (76).

    Wasps: Lewsey; Sackey, Erinle, Waters, Voyce; Staunton, Reddan, Mackenzie, Ward, Bracken, Purdy, Birkett, Leo, Rees, Hart.
    Replacements: Walder for Lewsey (52), Brooks for Erinle (8), Payne for Mackenzie (60), Ibanez for Ward (54), Skivington for Purdy (70), Haskell for Hart (13).
    Not Used: Amor.

    Att: 10,237.

    Ref: Nigel Owens (WRFU).

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