Hard-fought win for Cardiff Blues

Date published: November 4 2016

Steve Shingler kicked 19 points as Cardiff Blues claimed their fifth win of the PRO12 season on Friday, seeing off Treviso 34-28 in Italy.

Having trailed 28-16 early on in the second 40, the Blues rallied to produce one of the performances of the season and come out victors in a highly entertaining match for the neutral.

Debut tries from Rhun Williams and Willis Halaholo were vital as Cardiff took home the maximum five points, while Treviso would have to settle for two bonus points, the least their performance deserved.

Cardiff Blues had the majority of play in the opening exchanges, and found themselves deservedly ahead through Williams' debut try with former Scarlets fly-half adding the extras.

However, Treviso showed their strength in retaliation and pulled level not long after despite the best efforts of Haloholo, as Dean Budd just got over the line despite the best efforts of the New Zealand centre. Ian McKinley brought the scores level.

Less than five minutes later, Treviso turned it around with McKinley providing Alberto Sgarbi a path to the whitewash which the Italian duly crossed, before McKinley kicked the conversion well.

A couple of Shingler penalties then put just a point between the sides, but Treviso scored their third try of the night to once again put daylight between the teams, this time the five points coming courtesy of Michael Tagicakibau in the corner. McKinley was again spot on to add the extras before the visitors' kicker scored another penalty before the break to leave the match in the balance at the halfway stage.

Treviso secured the try bonus point soon after the restart as a crossfield kick found Abraham Steyn in acres of space, allowing him to touch down relatively unchallenged, with McKinley converting well.

However, Cardiff Blues weren't giving up without a fight, and Macauley Cook hit another try for his side after finding space in the backline, and while there was no conversion, a Shingler penalty soon after put just four points between the sides.

The turnaround was completed thanks to another debut try as Halaholo broke through a bout of lacklustre Treviso marking. Shingler's conversion did little to ease the nerves for either side though his penalty moments before the final hooter did, providing the final score as Cardiff Blues held on for a famous win despite a late onslaught from their stunned hosts.

The scorers:

For Treviso:
Tries: Budd, Sgarbi, Tagicakibau, Steyn
Cons: McKinley 4

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: R Williams, Cook, Halaholo
Cons: Shingler 2
Pens: Shingler 5

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Marco Barbini, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Filippo Gerosa, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Luke McLean

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Rhun Williams, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Macauley Cook, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 George Earle, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Kris Dacey, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon, Lewis, 19 James Down, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Dan Fish

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Dewi Phillips (Wales), Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)