It was one-way traffic as Cardiff Blues ran in eight tries to defeat Treviso 57-21 at Arms Park in the Welsh capital.
Tries from Nick Williams and Blaine Scully had given the Blues a narrow half-time lead, with Treviso’s reply coming from Ian McKinley.
Angelo Esposito was the only Treviso man who could find a reply to scores from Steve Shingler, Sion Bennett, Kristian Dacey, Willis Halaholo, Matthew Morgan and Alex Cuthbert as the hosts ran away with the win.
Patiently building from a well-worked lineout move, Cardiff took the lead after four minutes when back-row forward Williams broke free of the Treviso defence to carry over from 20 metres out. Shingler’s conversion completed the score.
Tito Tebaldi reduced the deficit to a single point with two successful penalties inside the opening quarter of an hour, but Shingler’s three-point reply restored the daylight between the sides.
A strong Italian scrum then gave fly-half McKinley the perfect chance to outfox the Blues’ defence and tiptoe to the line and take his the visitors in to the lead. Tebaldi’s conversion made it 13-10.
It looked like Treviso would take their lead in to the break, but their hosts found an immediate reply when Scully went over in the corner after collecting an excellent Gareth Anscombe offload. Shingler split the uprights for the third time with the final kick of the half.
An excellent start to the second half saw Cardiff extend their lead when Lloyd Williams set Shingler clear to score from 40 metres out within a minute of the restart, before converting his own try.
The hosts’ bonus point came just three minutes later when flanker Bennett carried over to score his maiden try for the Blues. Shingler’s added the extras as Cardiff began to pull away.
Treviso’s attempt to boot clear seemed to have relieved the pressure, but Morgan was able to run 50 metres up field, dancing past a number of tackles, before supplying hooker Dacey with the try scoring opportunity.
Shingler converted, but the Italians found an immediate reply when Esposito stepped past the previously twinkle-toed Morgan to score from 20 metres. Tebaldi added the much needed extras.
The toing and froing continued as Cuthbert broke through the Treviso defence to find centre Halaholo inside him to finish the move. Shingler’s sixth conversion of the afternoon made it 45-20 to the hosts.
The game settled down after a frantic start to the second half before replacement Corey Domachowski produced an excellent carry to take Cardiff within three metres of the line. The ball was then shipped out to Morgan to carry over, allowing Shingler to extend the lead further.
To round off proceedings, the Blues’ eighth individual try-scorer of the day Cuthbert ran a superb line through Treviso’s defence, before stepping the full-back to carry home. Shingler’s perfect record was tarnished with the final kick of the game as it ricocheted off the upright.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: N Williams, Scully, Shingler, Bennett, Dacey, Halaholo, Morgan, Cuthbert
Cons: Shingler 7
Tries: McKinley, Esposito
Pens: Tebaldi 3
Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Steve Shingler, 11 Blaine Scully, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams (c), 8 Nick Williams, 7 Sion Bennett, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 George Earle, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Kirby Myhill, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Tom James
Treviso: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Tommaso Allan, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Dean Budd (c), 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Jody Rossetto, 19 Jean Francois Montauriol, 20 Guglilemo Zanini, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Andrea Pratichetti, 23 David Odiete
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Gareth Newman (Wales)
TMO: Paul Thomas (Wales)