Planet Rugby

Tigers bully Blues out of Welford Road

03rd November 2007 16:42

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Benjamin Kayser charge

Leading the charge: Leicester hooker Benjamin Kayser busts thorugh the Cardiff pack

Leicester Tigers struck an emphatic blow for England in the Anglo-Welsh EDF Energy Cup on Saturday, beating Cardif Blues 42-20 with a terrific display of power.

Defeat at Bath last week meant the Tigers had to beat Cardiff to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals and they did just that and claimed a bonus point by running in five second-half tries.

Fly half Andy Goode marked his return to the side after a four-week absence with 11 points and a hand in two tries before being injured, while Johne Murphy crossed twice.

It had been nine years since a Welsh team triumphed at Welford Road and Cardiff got off to the perfect start with a Ben Blair penalty in the ninth minute after a spell of pressure.

Leicester were denied a quick reply when they were penalised for crossing just 10 metres from the line after the returning Martin Corry's break had set up the chance.

The home fans were further incensed after 14 minutes when Cardiff scrum-half Richie Rees escaped a yellow card after a challenge on Tom Varndell.

Goode kicked Leicester level with the resulting penalty and then made it 6-3 after 22 minutes.

Blair levelled three minutes later with his second penalty and then launched a 45-metre effort just wide of the posts eight minutes before the break.

The hard-fought game swung back Leicester's way a minute before the interval when Cardiff prop Gareth Williams was sin binned and Goode's penalty made it 9-6 at half-time.

Leicester scored 12 points in Williams' absence to take a grip on the game.

Goode then helped set up the game's first try in the 45th minute. His superb dummy created space in midfield and he then chipped towards the right hand corner where Varndell picked up to go over the line.

The try was awarded after consultation with the television match official and Goode added the conversion to make it 16-6.

Leicester were soon piling on the pressure again and Murphy touched down in the corner in the 49th minute after gathering Goode's grubber kick.

Goode's conversion hit the post, but the lead was still 15 points.

Varndell was denied a second try when the referee adjudged Geordan Murphy's pass to him was forward.

Goode was replaced by Paul Burke in the 53rd minute after picking up an injury.

Cardiff were back in the game after 57 minutes when John Yapp's break led to Xavier Rush ploughing over for a try Blair converted to trim the gap to eight at 21-13.

The game was put beyond them on 66 minutes when Dan Hipkiss took Burke's pass just outside the 22 and accelerated through a gap to touch down between the posts.

Burke's conversion made it 28-13 and Leicester claimed a fourth try after 71 minutes.

Seru Rabeni kicked over the top and Johne Murphy won his challenge for the ball with Gareth Thomas and raced away to the line.

Burke added the extras and Leicester were 35-13 clear.

Cardiff played the closing stages with 14 men after running out of replacements.

Leicester claimed a 76th-minute penalty try that Burke converted and Blair salvaged some late pride for Cardiff with a 78th minute try he also converted.

The scorers:

For Leicester:

Tries: Varndell, Murphy 2, Hipkiss, penalty try

Cons: Goode, Burke 3

Pens: Goode 3

For Cardiff Blues:

Tries: Rush, Blair

Cons: Blair 2

Pens: Blair 2

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Seru Rabeni, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry (c), 5 Ben Kay, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Julian White, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Luke Abraham, 20 Christophe Laussucq, 21 Paul Burke, 22 Johne Murphy

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Jamie Roberts, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Gareth Thomas, 11 Tom James, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush (c), 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 John Yapp.

Replacements: 16 Gary Powell, 17 T Rhys Thomas, 18 Robert Sidoli, 19 Scott Morgan, 20 Jason Spice, 21 Dai Flanagan, 22 Rhys Williams.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Touch judges: Phil Fear (Wales), Steve Edwards (Wales)

Assessor: Paul Bridgman (England)

Television match official: Andrew Turner (England), Geoff Warren (England)

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