Planet Rugby

Blues mounting late charge for title

27th April 2007 21:38

Share:

Cardiff Blues maintained their late charge for the Magners League title with a convincing 14-41 win over the Borders on Friday at Netherdale.

Four tries in the first half saw them secure the bonus point, and they went on to score a further three in the second half to move into second in the table, just two points behind leaders Leinster with a game in hand.

Borders had given them a fright by snatching the lead with two tries in quick succession - but the Blues had the cutting edge when it mattered most.

The Welshmen made a storming start and it was no surprise when they surged ahead with a try after only five minutes.

A sequence of patient lead-up work which featured safe handling created the time and space for winger Mosese Luveitasau to glide over close to the corner. Nicky Robinson was wide with the conversion attempt.

The fired-up Blues stepped up their early momentum and stretched their lead when powerful Test centre Tom Shanklin took full advantage of slack defence to plunge over.

This time Robinson was accurate with the kick, leaving the Reivers with a massive task to get back into the contest.

To the delight of the success-starved home fans, the Borders battled gamely and were rewarded midway through the half when Scotland breakaway forward Kelly Brown snapped up an opportunist touchdown.

Veteran stand-off Gregor Townsend added the extra points to set up a tense approach to the interval.

Even better was to come for the Reivers - and Townsend in particular - on the half-hour mark as he darted in for another slick score.

Substitute Steve Jones gleefully stroked over the conversion to give his team a shock lead.

The local joy did not last long, however, as Shanklin barged his way through to complete his double and swing the momentum back in favour of the visitors.

And there was another dose of gloom a minute before the break when the speedy Luveitasau also made it a brace of tries - making sure of the precious bonus point in the process.

Borders were dealt an added blow two minutes after the restart as skipper Chris Cusiter went off with ankle problem, though it did not look serious.

The Blues turned on the power in the final quarter to add a penalty try and two Rhys Shellard scores - along with two Robinson goals.

The Scorers:

For Borders:

Tries: Townsend, Brown

Cons: Townsend, Jones

For Cardiff Blues:

Tries: Luveitasau 2, Shanklin 2, Shellard 2, Penalty

Cons: Robinson 3

The teams:

The Borders:15 Stuart Moffat, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Garry Law, 12 Bryan Rennie, 11 Nick De Luca, 10 Gregor Townsend, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 John Dalziel, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Opeta Palepoi, 5 Craig Hamilton, 4 Stuart Grimes, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Gavin Kerr.

Replacements: 16 Steve Scott, 17 Bruce Douglas, 18 Richie Vernon, 19 Andy Miller, 20 Rob Chrystie, 21 Scott Gray.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Rhys Williams, 13 Jamie Robinson, 12 Tom Shanklin (c), 11 Mosese Luveitasau, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Mark Lewis, 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor, 6 Andy Powell, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Gary Powell, 2 Rhys Thomas, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Replacements: 16 Scott Roberts, 17 Gareth Williams, 18 Bradley Davies, 19 Rhys Shellard, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Dafydd Hewitt, 22 Tom Riley.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Touch judges: David Changleng (Scotland), Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00