Planet Rugby

Cardiff cruise past Connacht

15th April 2011 21:39

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Casey Laulala Cardiff Blues 2010 magners

Try machine: Casey Laulala

Cardiff Blues outscored Connacht two tries to none to notch up a comfortable 26-12 Magners League win at the Sportsground on Friday.

The result moves the Blues level with Leinster but the Irish side currently edge Cardiff out of the top-four thanks to their superior points difference.

Fly-half Dan Parks scored four penalties and two conversions to go alongside tries from lock Bradley Davies and centre Casey Laulala. Ian Keatley responded for the hosts kicking 12 points but it wasn't enough to garner victory over a powerful Cardiff side.

Connacht opened the scoring with an early penalty from Keatley before Parks responded with one of his own. The Irish side then went six points clear through the boot of their fly-half.

However, former All Black Laulala went over for the first try of the match, Parks converting. But Keatley scored his fourth penalty to give his team a narrow 12-10 half-time lead. Four minutes into the second period and the Blues went ahead through another Parks three pointer.

A yellow card for number eight Ray Ofisa Treviranus saw Connacht reduced to 14 and allowed the Cardiff stand-off to increase their advantage.

Parks then continued his fine form with the boot to move the Welsh side a converted try clear with 20 minutes to go.

However, the fly-half missed his first kick at goal before full-back Gavin Duffy was sin-binned. Parks then failed to convert another opportunity, but it wasn't to matter as Davies scored the defining try. Parks made the conversion to secure a potentially vital victory in the race to the top-four.

The scorers

For Connacht:
Pens: Keatley 4

For Cardiff:
Tries: Laulala, Davies
Cons: Parks 2
Pens: Parks 4

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Brian Tuohy, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Ray Ofisa, 7 Johnny O'Connor (c), 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Ronan Loughney.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Mike McComish, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Mark Dolan, 22 Tiernan O'Halloran, 23 Eoin Griffin.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Jamie Roberts, 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 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Deiniol Jones, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Venue: The Sportsground
Referee: Andrew McMenemy

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