A last-minute try from Campese Ma'afu helped Cardiff Blues to a 34-18 bonus-point victory over Treviso at the Arms Park on Saturday.
A last-minute Campese Ma'afu score helped Cardiff Blues to a 34-18 bonus point win over Treviso on Saturday.
Returning full-back Dan Fish's jinking run to the line added to Rhys Patchell's early penalty, as the home side put in a strong first-half showing.
Although Kris Burton scored what turned out to be Treviso's only first-half points with a penalty on seventeen minutes, a Jamie Roberts try on his first start of the season put Cardiff 17-3 ahead.
Visiting forward Robert Barbieri was sin-binned soon after the restart, giving Patchell the chance to add to two conversions and first half penalty.
Treviso's best opportunity came with an interception by Giulio Toniolatti in his own 22, who raced on, but was caught by Patchell in good time. The ground made on that run led to a sustained period of Treviso pressure on the Cardiff line, as Tobias Botes was held up with the ball.
After returning to the fray, Barbieri finally made the breakthrough to squirm past Sam Warburton and Fish to start a comeback for the Italians, with Burton adding the extras to take his side into double figures.
The visitors kept the pressure going, and a Burton penalty brought Treviso back to within a converted try, as the game entered its closing stages.
But Jason Tovey was the hero of the hour, taking his opportunity to race through to score on his debut, giving Patchell the chance to convert once more, putting the Blues 27-13 ahead.
With ten minutes to play, Blues lock Bradley Davies was yellow carded for repeated offence.
Barbieri benefitted straight away, diving over for his second try of the night after his pack had taken him to the line. Burton failed to convert, so Cardiff still had some breathing space.
It was another debutant, Ma'afu whose driving score on the final play led to confirmation of the result, gaining the Blues their bonus-point win that moves them provisionally second.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Fish, Roberts, Tovey, Ma'afu
Con: Patchell 4
Pen: Patchell 2
Tries: Barbieri 2
Pen: Burton 2
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies (capt), 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Campese Ma'afu, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Edoardo Gori, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Marco Filippucci, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (capt), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Jacobus Roux, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Valerio BernabÃ², 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Luca Morisi.
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Chris Williams (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)