Challenge Cup Wrap: Cardiff feel the Blues

Date published: December 17 2015

Montpellier left it late to defeat Cardiff Blues while Gloucester were comfortable winners over Premiership rivals Worcester in the Challenge Cup.

Gloucester 27-13 Worcester

Greig Laidlaw finished with 22 points as Gloucester won their Round 4 Challenge Cup clash against Worcester at Kingsholm.

The defending champions as a result move 12 points clear at the top of Pool 4.

Scotland captain Laidlaw and former Gloucester favourite Ryan Lamb traded early penalties before the visitors grabbed the first try through full-back Ben Howard to make it 3-10.

Laidlaw's second penalty closed the gap before the scrum-half popped up out wide to score Gloucester's first try on 21 minutes, which he converted to give the hosts the lead for the first time.

A third Laidlaw penalty just before the interval gave Gloucester a 16-10 advantage heading into the changing rooms.

Laidlaw and Lamb exhanged three-pointers once more ten minutes into the second half, followed by a fifth effort from the Scot to then give Gloucester more of a cushion.

Matt Kvesic's 67th-minute try put the Cherry and Whites up by two scores to finally secure the win.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Laidlaw, Kvesic
Cons: Laidlaw
Pens: Laidlaw 5

For Worcester:
Tries: Howard
Cons: Lamb
Pens: Lamb 2

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Lewis Ludlow, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Jacob Rowan, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Josh McNulty, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Tom Hicks, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Mark Atkinson

Worcester: 15 Ben Howard, 14 Dean Hammond , 13 Alex Grove, 12 Andy Symons, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (c), 8 Marco Mama, 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Dan Sanderson, 3 Mike Daniels, 2 Ben Sowrey, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Huw Taylor, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Tiff Eden, 23 Max Stelling

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Martyn Lewis (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

Montpellier 23-22 Cardiff Blues

Demetri Catrakilis' conversion of Paul Willemse's try into stoppage time left Cardiff Blues heartbroken, as Montpellier clinched a dramatic win at the Altrad Stadium.

The Blues headed to France looking to do the double over Jake White's Top 14 outfit after a win in Round 3 at Arms Park, as Jannie du Plessis made his debut for Montpellier.

Three penalties from full-back Rhys Patchell – who this week announced he will leave the region at the end of the season to join Scarlets – to one from Catrakilis made the score 9-3 to the Welsh region at the end of the first quarter.

A second Catrakilis penalty closed the gap before Wales winger Alex Cuthbert scored the opening try on 27 minutes, converted by Patchell.

However a try from Julien Malzieu right on the stroke of half-time converted by Catrakilis allowed Montpellier to close the gap, making it 13-16 at the break.

Blues lost number eight Manoa Vosawai to a yellow card midway through the second half before Catrakilis tied up the score with his third penalty.

With Patchell replaced at full-back by Blaine Scully, Blues fly-half Jerrod Evans stepped up to add two penalties to make it 16-22 in the closing stages. 

Pat Cilliers was denied a possible try by the TMO as the Blues tried to cling on into injury time under huge pressure, but they eventually buckled when Willemse scored, the conversion from Catrakilis clinching the win for Montpellier.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Tries: Malzieu, Willemse
Cons: Catrakilis 2
Pens: Catrakilis 3

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Cuthbert
Cons: Patchell
Pens: Patchell 3, Evans 2
Yellow Cards: Vosawai

Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Julien Malzieu, 13 Timoci Nagusa, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic White, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Antoine Battut, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Robins Tchale Watchou, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 21 Benjamin Lucas, 22 Anthony Tuitavke, 23 Pierre Berard

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo,  11 Tom James, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 James Down, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Tom Isaacs, 23 Blaine Scully 

Referee: Ian Tempest (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Andrew Watson (England)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (England)