Blues respond to down Edinburgh

Date published: March 1 2015

Cardiff Blues bounced back from last week's big defeat in Italy with an impressive 21-15 win over Edinburgh at the Cardiff Arms Park.

Lloyd Williams touched down early on and then helped create a try for Ellis Jenkins as the Welsh region moved into a 14-0 lead at the interval.

That was cut to 14-10 in the second half through Tom Heathcote's penalty and Tim Visser's effort before Rhys Patchell went over to keep the visitors at arm's length.

Although Roddy Grant crossed the whitewash to give Edinburgh hope, they couldn't find a winning score.

Cardiff, for a number of years a force in Europe and the Pro12, have endured a torrid season, going into the game with just four wins in the league.

It has been symptomatic of the Welsh regions, who have struggled to compete having lost their top players to foreign clubs. With the likes of Sam Warburton also unavailable due to international duty, they were further decimated but they produced a solid first-half performance.

The quality wasn't outstanding but, against an Edinburgh team short of their Scotland players, the Blues were the livelier side. Williams at half-back was particularly influential and it was his sniping run which opened the scoring for the hosts as he glided through a gap to touch down.

However, they soon found themselves down to 14 men when Manoa Vosawai was sin-binned, but the Gunners failed to take advantage.

In fact, Alan Solomons' men generally lacked ideas in the opening period and it was no surprise to see Jenkins cross the whitewash minutes before the break following further good work from their scrum-half.

Mike Coman was also serving time off the field for the visitors after receiving a yellow card, but that try was the only score they conceded while he was in the bin.

Still, the Scottish outfit found themselves 14 points in arrears at the break and they needed a response in the second period, which Solomons duly received.

Firstly, replacement Heathcote reduced the deficit via a penalty before Visser produced one of his trademark finishes to take Edinburgh to within four points. But they couldn't complete the turnaround as Cardiff upped the intensity once more and Patchell went over.

The Blues did have a late scare when Josh Turnbull was yellow carded and Roddy Grant touched down but, after Dougie Fife was sin-binned for Edinburgh, the hosts held on.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Williams, Jenkins, Patchell
Cons: Patchell 3
Yellow Cards: Vosawai, Turnbull

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Visser, Grant
Cons: Heathcote
Yellow Cards: Coman, Fife

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom Isaacs, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Macauley Cook, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Adam Thomas.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Jade Te Rure, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Ollie Atkins, 3 WP Nel, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 John Andress, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Hugh Blake, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Andries Strauss.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)