Cardiff Blues demonstrated their strength in depth by recording an impressive six-try 45-24 win over Newcastle in the LV= Cup on Sunday.
Cardiff Blues demonstrated their strength in depth by recording an impressive six-try 45-24 victory over Newcastle in the LV= Cup on Sunday.
The clincial home side ran in tries through the much-critised Sam Norton-Knight (2), Ma'ama Molitika, Richard Mustoe, Ceri Sweeney and Ben White as they moved to the top of Pool Three.
Hooker Alex Walker grabbed a hat-trick of scores for the visitors with replacement Rob Vickers adding a fourth to give the Falcons a bonus point.
Both teams attempted to play an expansive game, with the Falcons spurning kicks for goal as Director of Rugby Steve Bates gave his youth some experience of rugby at the top level.
But the Blues, whose starting line-up showed fifteen changes from the side which won at Harlequins in the Heineken Cup, proved too strong and romped to victory.
This clash, however, gave few clues as to who will come out on top when the teams meet again at Kingston Park in April in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup, when their regular stars will be back from the upcoming Six Nations Championship.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Norton-Knight 2, Molitika, Mustoe, Sweeney, White
Con: Flanagan 2, Sweeney
Pen: Flanagan 3
Tries: Walker 3, Vickers
Con: Miller 2
Cardiff Blues:15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Dafydd James, 10 Dai Flanagan, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Mamma Molitika, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Andries Petorious, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Huw Dowden / Gary Horrigan, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements:16 Huw Dowden / Gary Horrigan, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Gary Powell, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Ben White, 21 Tom Slater, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Gareth Thomas, 24 Chris Czekaj
Newcastle:15 Tom Catterick, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Michael Tait, 12 Gcobani Bobo, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 8 Adam Balding (capt), 7 Will Welch, 6 Ed Williamson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Peter Browne, 3 Matt Thompson, 2 Alex Walker, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements:16 Rob Vickers, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Josh Afu, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Rob Vickerman, 23 Charlie Amesbury.
Referee: James Jones