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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 20:56 UK

Blues 58-0 Connacht

Blues (46) 58
Tries: J Roberts, Sweeney 2, Halfpenny 2, TR Thomas, G Thomas, Molitika, Filise. Cons: Sweeney 4, N Robinson Pens: Sweeney

Connacht (0) 0


Jamie Roberts
Centre Jamie Roberts was at the heart of the Blues' attacks

Cardiff Blues brushed aside Connacht at the Arms Park on the way to a hefty Magners League winning total.

Inside centre Jamie Roberts punched holes in the visitors' defence all evening and fittingly scored the first of nine Blues tries.

Ceri Sweeney and a Leigh Halfpenny brace brought up the bonus point with just over half-an-hour played.

The second half did not provide the same thrills, but fly-half Sweeney did add his second try to cap a fine night.

An early drive from the base of the scrum by Blues number eight Andy Powell set the scene for the night, with the Connacht defence already back-pedalling.

Young salutes dominant Blues

Deiniol Jones picked up and drove and the Irish gave a way a penalty as they tried to slow down the big lock, Sweeney making no mistake with the kick.

With just five minutes gone Roberts had crossed for the first try, as Jason Spice took a quick tap penalty and fed Jamie Robinson.

A clever miss-pass from the number 12 took Connacht centre John Hearty out of the line, allowing Roberts a straight canter to the line for an easy seven points.

Connacht calmed themselves and drove steadily into Blues territory and won a straightforward penalty chance, only for Andy Dunne to hook his kick horribly.

But from then on it was one-way Blues traffic, as first Sweeney, then Halfpenny twice - the full-back providing the overlap first on the right then the left wing - Rhys Thomas, Gareth Thomas and Maama Molitika all followed the procession to the try line.

The pick of those was Sweeney's score, the ball flowing through several phases and more than a dozen sets of hands as Connacht's defensive line was pulled to bits.

The fly-half converted his own try and three others to leave the Blues with a huge 46-0 half-time lead and the game over as a competition.

606: DEBATE

The overworked Connacht defence had not been helped by the sin-binning of back-row Colm Rigney in the 32nd minute, after he tried once too often to slow Blues ball at the breakdown.

The Blues were also boosted by the sight of inspirational number eight Xavier Rush returning to action after injury in the second half, as the New Zealander came off the bench for Molitika.

Sweeney soon added to the total after the restart, ripping the ball off Connacht wing Aidan Wynne in the tackle to go over in the left corner.

After that the Blues were unable to reclaim the clinical edge they had showed in the first period, with the crowd treated to scraps compared to their earlier feast.

The Blues still had the last say, though, as replacement front-row Taufa'ao Filise added a ninth try for the home side three minutes from the end.


Blues: Leigh Halfpenny; Richard Mustoe, Jamie Robinson, Jamie Roberts, Gareth Thomas; Ceri Sweeney, Jason Spice; John Yapp, T Rhys Thomas, Gary Powell, Deiniol Jones, Paul Tito (capt), Maama Molitika, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Andy Powell.
Replacements: Taufa'ao Filise G. Powell (62), Rhys Williams T. Thomas (40), Scott Morgan for A. Powell (42), Xavier Rush for Molitika (40), Richie Rees Rees for Spice (35), Nicky Robinson for Sweeney (55), Tom Shanklin for J. Robinson (51).

Connacht: F Carr; A Wynne, J Hearty, M Deane, M Roberts; A Dunne, F Murphy; J Lyne, A Flavin, R Morris; A Browne, M Swift; J Muldoon (capt), J O'Connor, C Rigney.
Replacements: S Cronin for Flavin (46), R Loughney for Lyne (60), A Farley, M McCarthy, K Campbell for Murphy (54), I Keatley, L Bibo for Roberts (60).

Att: 7,542

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy).



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see also
Magners Celtic League 2008/9
11 Aug 08 |  Rugby Union
Magners League table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Celtic rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
BBC Sport NI coverage
03 Jul 08 |  Northern Ireland
BBC Scotland programme guide
26 Jul 09 |  Scotland


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