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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 March, 2005, 19:30 GMT
Blues 30-20 Munster
Kort Schubert
Blues: (17) 30:
Tries: N Robinson, Schubert 2.
Cons: L Thomas 2, MacLeod.
Pens: L Thomas 2.
DG: N Robinson.
Munster: (6) 20:
Tries: Horan, Sheehan.
Cons: Burke 2.
Pens: Burke 2.
Att: 3,350
Cardiff Blues kept alive their slim Heineken Cup qualification hopes with a gutsy Celtic League win over Munster at the Arms Park on Saturday.

Number eight Kort Schubert led the way with two tries, while Leigh Thomas added 10 points with the boot.

Wales fly-half Nick Robinson enjoyed his return to full action after a long illness, scoring a try and a drop-goal.

Munster created tries for Marcus Horan and front-row colleague Frankie Sheahan but lost ground in the title race.

After Burke's penalty had cancelled out Robinson's early drop-goal, the Blues fly-half put some daylight between the sides with the game's first try.

The Cardiff side won a five-metre scrum and quick, flat ball allowed Robinson to sell Shaun Payne an outrageous dummy and score almost under the posts, Thomas converting.

Munster, chasing the Celtic League title, were surprisingly sluggish in what were admittedly difficult weather conditions.

Irish scrum-half Mike Prendergast's lack of hurry saw him Kort out just after the half-hour mark, as Blues number eight Schubert charged down his attempted kick and followed up the loose ball to score.

Thomas' conversion made it 17-3 to the Welsh side, although Burke's second penalty reduced the deficit before half-time.

Blues began the second half with a penalty from centre Thomas, but the Munster pack finally woke up and began to make inroads on the Blues defence.

Prop Horan barrelled over from close range after a five-metre lineout for a converted try.

Thomas was then harshly sin-binned by referee Mike Hall, who proceeded to give a series of puzzling and fussy decisions.

Despite being a man light, the Blues fashioned a second try for man-of-the-match Schubert - who found himself all alone at the back of a lineout and took full advantage, Nick MacLeod adding the conversion.

Thomas returned to the fray, only for Robin Sowden-Taylor to earn a yellow card for infringing in the ruck.

The Munster scrum rumbled into action once again and this time hooker Sheahan was the beneficiary from another close-range drive that earned seven points.

But the Blues held their nerve and held out, Thomas adding a final penalty to secure a win that keeps slim Heineken Cup qualification hopes alive.

Cardiff Blues: N Macleod; D Dewdney, T Davies, L Thomas, C Morgan; N Robinson, R Powell; M Jones, G Williams, B Evans, C Quinnell (capt), D Jones, M Molitika, R Sowden-Taylor, K Schubert.
Replacements: J Vaughton, D Hewitt, R Smith, N Llewellyn, R Thomas, J Goode, N Thomas.

Munster: C Cullen; J Kelly, S Payne, R Henderson, A Horgan; P Burke, M Prendergast; M Horan, F Sheahan, G McIlwham, T Bowman, T Hogan, J Williams, D Wallace, S Keogh.
Replacements: F Roche, J Flannery, T Hayes, A Quinlan, E Reddan, J Holland, P Devlin.

Referee: Mike Hall (Scotland)



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