Cardiff Blues had no problems in Italy on Friday as they coasted to a 20-3 Magners League win over Aironi.
Cardiff Blues had no problems in Italy on Friday as they coasted to a Magners 20-3 League win over Aironi.
A decisive first-half performance from the Blues saw them complete a straightforward victory at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.
The Welsh side looked sure bets for a bonus-point victory after taking a 17-3 half-time lead, courtesy of tries from Richard Mustoe and Lloyd Williams, but added just three more points in the second period as the winless Italians tightened up.
Ceri Sweeney totalled 10 points for the Blues, successfully converting both tries and also slotting two penalties, while Ludovic Mercier kicked the hosts' only points after 29 minutes.
Blues were boosted by the availability of Wales trio Martyn Williams, John Yapp and Scott Andrews, who were freed to play by the WRU to get some game time.
Williams played the full 80 minutes, while Andrews and Yapp each played a half.
The scoring began after just three minutes, Sweeney booting over a penalty to give the Blues a lead they would never come under serious pressure to surrender.
The next score took a little over 15 minutes to arrive but when it did it yielded Blues' first try of the evening. Full-back Mustoe was the scorer, with Sweeney sweeping over the extras moments later.
Mercier got Aironi on the scoreboard with a successful penalty of his own but within four minutes the visitors had extended their lead again.
Lloyd Williams was the man to touch down on this occasion, going over in the 33rd minute before Sweeney made it 17-3 with the conversion.
The home side prevented any further scoring in the seven minutes before the break but Cardiff must have been eyeing the two tries required for a bonus point.
Sweeney kicked a penalty just two minutes after the restart, but the visitors surprisingly failed to trouble the scorers again.
Instead, Aironi held firm for 38 minutes without further damage, though they never looked likely to threaten a bonus point of their own.
Tries: Mustoe, Williams
Cons: Sweeney 2
Pens: Sweeney 2
Aironi: 15 Julien Laharrague, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Jaco Erasmus, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys (capt), 4 Marco Bortolami, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Andrea Benatti, 21 Pablo Canavosio, 22 Gilberto Pavan, 23 Riccardo Bocchino.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Gavin Evans, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tom Davies.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 John Yapp, 19 James Down, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Tom Slater, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Owen Williams.
Venue: Stadio Zaffanella, Viadana
Referee: Graham Knox (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Traversi, Stefano Marrama (both FIR)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR).