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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Bourgoin 5-13 Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues flanker and captain Martyn Williams
Martyn Williams capped a superb performance with a try
Bourgoin (0) 5
Try: Monzeglio

Cardiff Blues (6) 13
Try: Williams
Con: Blair
Pens: Blair (2)

Cardiff Blues took full advantage of a poor Bourgoin performance to record their first Heineken Cup win in France.

Ben Blair landed two first-half penalties to give the Blues a 6-0 interval lead as Benjamin Boyet missed two efforts for the home side.

Martyn Williams scored the crucial try on 68 minutes after Marc Stcherbina had gathered the flanker's kick ahead.

Bourgoin ensured a tense finish when Brice Monzeglio crossed, but the Blues held on for an historic victory.

A hugely forgettable first half came to life in the final minutes as the Blues pressed hard near the Bourgoin tryline.

Some desperate defending kept the Blues forwards at bay, but Chris Czekaj looked to have barged his way over to score.

The winger lost control of the ball in the tackle, but managed to re-gather before it hit the ground to touch down over the tryline.

Referee Chris White left the decision to the video referee, and he disallowed the try, awarding Bourgoin a scrum for a knock-on.

Moments later, Blair sliced through the home defence, but Mosese Luvietasau failed to hang on to his pass with the tryline in sight.

The Blues were awarded a penalty, though, and Blair made no mistake with the kick at goal, adding to his ninth-minute penalty to give the Blues a 6-0 half-time advantage.

Bourgoin improved considerably after the break, and should have scored a try on 65 minutes after charging down Nicky Robinson's kick inside his own 22.

But in keeping with their general standard, they knocked the ball on to let Robinson and the Blues off the hook.

The Welsh side made the most of their good fortune as moments later Williams scored the try which gave his side much-needed breathing space.

The flanker was the chief architect with a clever kick down the right flank.

Centre Stcherbina won the foot-race, and despite appearing to waste the opportunity with an ill-timed trip, he recovered to pick up the ball and his pass gave Williams a clear run under the posts.

Blair converted to put the Blues 13-0 up after 68 minutes.

After failing to impress in the backs, Bourgoin reverted to simple forward drives, and the tactic paid dividends as flanker Monzeglio forced his way over two minutes from time after a series of rucks.

Replacement Sebastien Laloo failed to add the conversion and the Blues managed to run down the clock to secure a priceless away win.

  • Bourgoin coach Christophe Urios:

  • "We lacked the physical freshness to complete properly. The Welsh players were quicker and more dynamic around the field.

    "Our kicking was very poor, we should have kicked for more territory and we missed three important attempts at goal.

    "We are very disappointed with this performance and it is difficult for us now in this pool."

  • Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young:

  • "This is a great win for us. This is not an easy place to come but we defended well and I thought we deserved the win.

    "We worked hard this week and studied their game and I thought we were effective at combating their driving game. There were not many parts of the game where they were on top.

    "It is crucial to start the Heineken Cup with a win and victory in France makes it all better. Hopefully we can push on from here."

    Bourgoin: Florian Denos; David Janin, Guillaume Bousses, Salesi Finau, Irakli Giorgadze; Benjamin Boyet, Mike Prendergast; Davit Khinchagishvili, Benoit Cabello, Olivier Sourgens, Julien Pierre, Damien Fevre, Augusto Petrilli, Brice Monzeglio, Julien Bonnaire.
    Replacements: Remy Vigneaux for Cabello (41), Pascal Peyron for Sourgens (39), , Julien Frier for Petrilli (61), Sebastien Laloo for Boyet (69), Matthieu Nicolas for Denos (74).
    Not Used: Bryce Williams, Mickael Campeggia.

    Blues: Ben Blair; Chris Czekaj, Tom Shanklin, Marc Stcherbina, Mosese Luvietasau; Nicky Robinson, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Thomas, Gary Powell, Deiniol Jones, Robert Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Martyn Williams (capt), Mark Lewis.
    Replacements: Taufaao Filise for Powell (59), Nick Macleod for Blair (69).
    Not Used: Gareth Williams, Bradley Davies, Ben White, Ed Fairhurst, Jamie Robinson.

    Referee: Chris White (Eng).

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