Cardiff Blues laid down a Magners League marker on Saturday with a bonus-point 34-23 win over Edinburgh at Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff Blues laid down a Magners League marker on Saturday with a bonus-point 34-23 success over Edinburgh at Cardiff City Stadium.
New summer signing Dan Parks turned in a man of the match display, supplementing a 100 per cent kicking performance with a consummate lesson in match management.
It was Parks who set the scoreboard moving with an early penalty, before the Blues turned their territorial supremacy into two tries.
First full-back Chris Czekaj made ground down the left and the ball was recycled for Parks to produce a deft inside pass to open up the Edinburgh defence for lock Bradley Davies to go under the posts.
Then number eight Xavier Rush, isolated on the left touchline, audaciously chipped over defending wing Lee Jones, regained the ball and improvised a superb flick for Tom James to touch down. Parks converted both tries.
Edinburgh gradually worked their way back into the game but had to settle for three penalties from full-back Chris Paterson, Parks contributing one in reply.
The Scots came close to a try after some adventurous handling but ruined the opportunity with a forward pass.
The home side were more clinical when play resumed, hooker Rhys Thomas driving over after the Blues had put a penalty into touch and duly won the line-out.
Edinburgh battled back and a quick throw on the right was spread across field for burly Dutch winger Tim Visser to race in for a try which Paterson improved.
The excellent Parks showed that he was capable of error with a drop goal attempt which barely left the ground and the Blues suffered a further setback when James was yellow carded for slowing down the ball at the breakdown.
The visitors called up reinforcements from the bench and began to hammer away at the Blues line but the 14 men tackled like demons to keep them at bay.
And it was a breakout from deep in their own half, spearheaded by Czekaj, which ended with centre Casey Laulala trotting in to clinch a bonus point. Parks, inevitably, added the extra points.
Edinburgh refused to accept their fate and grabbed a converted try in injury time, Visser's dive to the corner passing the examination of the television match official.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Davies, James, Thomas, Laulala
Con: Parks 4
Pen: Parks 2
Tries: Visser 2
Con: Paterson 2
Pen: Paterson 3
Cardiff Blues:15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tom Shanklin, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito, (c) 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Sam Hobbs, 17 Rhys Williams, 18 Tom Davies, 19 Deiniol Jones, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Ben Blair
Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant (capt), 6 Alan MacDonald, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Craig Hamilton, 20 Scott Newlands, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 David Blair, 23 John Houston.
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Phil Fear (Wales), Colin Kirkhouse (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)