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Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Friday, 24 September 2010 20:11 UK

Magners League: Benetton Treviso 7-19 Blues

Treviso (0) 7
Try: Pavanello. Con: Botes.
Blues (13) 19
Try: Blair. Con: Park. Pens: Parks 2. DGs: Parks 2.


Highlights: Treviso 7-19 Blues

Highlights: Treviso 7-19 Blues

Cardiff Blues became the first team to win at Benetton Treviso in the Magners League after a gruelling encounter.

Ben Blair's try, after a good break from Lloyd Williams, plus Dan Parks' boot gave Blues a cosy 13-0 half-time lead against a subdued Treviso.

But the Italians came out a changed side after the break and soon hit back.

Antonio Pavanello forced his way over for a converted try as Treviso exerted huge pressure but Parks added a penalty and a drop-goal to ease Welsh nerves.

While the win at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo will not go down as one of the Blues' most spectacular, it could prove to be a crucial four points, given that the Scarlets and Leinster have both lost there already this season.

Parks set the Blues on their way with a third-minute penalty, but both he and Leigh Halfpenny missed further place kicks before Parks slotted a drop-goal to make it 6-0.

That was how it stayed until five minutes before half-time, when Lloyd Williams dummied from a ruck and raced through a gap in the Treviso line, bouncing off full-back Brendan Williams for good measure.

The scrum-half was caught just short of the line but managed a scruffy off-load, allowing New Zealand full-back Blair to scoop up the ball and flop over for a converted try.

The Italians made five changes immediately after half-time as coach Franco Smith tried to inject some spark on the field.

It conjured the home side's first chance of points in the game, but Tobie Botes missed his penalty kick and the chance to get Treviso moving on the scoreboard.

But the Italians used their power up front to finally break Welsh resistance as a concerted drive by the pack saw Pavanello stretch over at the second attempt, Botes adding the conversion.

The Blues survived a series of scrums on their five-metre line, creaking despite the presence of the likes of Lions prop Gethin Jenkins at the coal face, as the Treviso eight impressed in the tight battle.

But the visitors managed to lift the siege and gained a little breathing space as Parks sent a penalty between the posts to stretch their lead to 16-7 going into the last 10 minutes.

The Scotland fly-half then made certain with three minutes left, adding his second drop-goal of the game to end any lingering Treviso hopes.


Benetton Treviso: Brendan Williams; Joseph Maddock, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Luke McLean; Kristopher Burton, Tobias Botes; Augusto Allori, Franco Sbaraglini, Pedro Di Santo, Antonio Pavanello (capt), Corniel Van Zyl, Marco Filipucci, Alessandro Zanni, Manoa Vosawai.
Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini for Sbaraglini (43), Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet for Di Santo (43), Lorenzo Cittadini for Allori (43), Enrico Pavanello, Robert Barbieri for Filippucci (43), Paul Derbyshire, Fabio Semenzato, Simon Picone for Burton (43).

Blues: Ben Blair; Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Shanklin, Dafydd Hewitt, Tom James; Dan Parks, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins, T Rhys Thomas, Faao Filise, Deiniol Jones, Paul Tito (capt), Michael Paterson, Martyn Williams, Maama Molitika.
Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Tom Davies, John Yapp, Andries Pretorius for Tito (65), Sam Warburton for M. Williams (72), Gareth Cooper for L. Williams (65), Ceri Sweeney, Gavin Evans.

Att: 4,000

Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU).



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see also
Magners League 2010/11
02 Jul 10 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12 table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Regional rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh


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