Planet Rugby

Blues blow Falcons away

11th April 2010 18:41

Share:

Martyn Williams Cardiff

Martyn Williams scores a try for the Blues.

Cardiff Blues progressed to the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup with a superb 55-20 annihilation of Newcastle on Sunday.

Dai Young's side reached the last four of a European competition for the second season in a row as they blew the Falcons away after the break, cutting their opponents apart almost at will.

The visitors led 17-13 at half-time after making a great start with tries from centre Casey Laulala and flanker Martyn Williams, with Ben Blair adding seven points with the boot.

Winger Charlie Amesbury dotted down for the Falcons, with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth kicking a conversion and two penalties.

But it was one-way traffic after the break as prop Taufa'ao Filise went over twice with Blair, Jamie Roberts and Ceri Sweeney also scoring for the Blues as Blair ended the game with a personal haul of 25 points.

Micky Young getting a late consolation for Newcastle.

Enthusiasts of the scrum were denied the chance to see a mouth-watering clash between Carl Hayman and Gethin Jenkins as the former New Zealand prop was a late withdrawal with a back injury.

Sweeney almost went over for the first try from the Blues first concerted attack but he was brought down just short of the line after a jinking run.

But the first try arrived in the ninth minute as Richie Rees broke off a scrum five metres out and Laulala rolled through a tackle to score. Blair added the conversion.

Captain Gopperth quickly responded with a simple penalty for the Falcons but the hosts failed to gather the restart and they paid a heavy price as Williams stretched out from the back of a ruck to score. Blair kicked his second conversion.

Amesbury crossed after 16 minutes. Williams and Deiniol Jones looked to have the winger wrapped up, but they fell off him to allow the former Harlequin to race over for a try converted by Gopperth.

And an illegal Laulala block then allowed the Kiwi fly-half to trim the lead to a point with his second penalty.

The visitors continued to look the more threatening side and Blair made it 17-13 with a penalty after another sustained attack, before Gopperth missed a three-pointer of his own right on half-time.

Newcastle number eight Josh Afu knocked on just outside his 22 shortly after the break and it proved costly as Cardiff used the field position to extend their lead with more powerful carrying by Xavier Rush and Bradley Davies setting up prop Filise to drive over from close range. Blair again added the extras.

Further pressure rained down on the Falcons line and desperate defence saw the hosts concede another penalty that Blair easily converted for a 27-13 lead.

There was only one side in the contest at this point and a Filise burst allowed Williams to float a long pass out for Blair to cross for a 53rd-minute try that he converted.

Cardiff were rampant and some wonderful inter-passing among the pack eventually freed Roberts for a simple canter over for another converted try.

Filise then grabbed his second as replacement Paul Tito put him over, before Young grabbed a try back for Newcastle with a fine sniping break.

But the Blues had the last word as wing Leigh Halfpenny jinked his way to within sight of the line before offloading for Sweeney to waltz over, with Blair completing his perfect display with the boot by knocking over the conversion.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Tries: Amesbury, Young
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 2

For the Blues:
Tries: Laulala, Williams, Filise 2, Blair, Roberts, Sweeney
Cons: Blair 7
Pens: Blair 2

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Josh Afu, 7 Ed Williamson, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Filipo Levi, 4 James Hudson, 3 Carl Hayman (captain), 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Alex Walker, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Will Welch, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Tom Biggs.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Maama Molitika 5 Deiniol Jones 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufa'au Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).
Replacements: 16 Gareth Williams 17 John Yapp 18 Scott Andrews 19 Paul Tito 20 Darren Allinson 21 Dai Flanagan 22 Dafydd Hewitt.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Patrick Pechambert (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615