Planet Rugby

Blues beat Racing to the finish line

11th November 2011 22:43

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racing metro v Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues: Conquer Paris

Cardiff Blues recorded a vital 26-20 away win in their Heineken Cup opener against Racing Metro at the Stade Yves Du Manoir.

Led by the return of a host of Welsh internationals, the Blues controlled the game for long periods as their French hosts struggled for a foothold.

The game was marred by an early injury in the second minute to lock James Down who was stretchered from the field before he was replaced by Paul Tito.

It took Cardiff a while to recover from the shock of Down's injury and they found themselves 6-0 down to a penalty by Racing Metro full-back Gaeten Germain and a drop-goal by fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez.

But when the visitors did strike, it led to the game's first try.

Tito was tackled into touch just short of Racing Metro's line after a slick handling move. But from the line-out, Tongan prop Tau Filise picked up the loose ball for an easy touchdown.

Fly-half Dan Parks added the extras to put the visitors a point ahead before the Scotland pivot and Germain swapped penalties to give the Cardiff Blues a 10-7 lead midway through the first half.

Racing Metro restored their lead courtesy of a try by Juan Imhoff.

However, the Blues grabbed their second try just before the break with rookie wing Alex Cuthbert scoring in the corner to give Cardiff a three-point (17-14) half-time lead.

Parks and Germain's battle with the boot continued after the break - Parks kicking three to Germain's two as the Welsh region hung on for a deserved victory.

The scorers:

For Racing Metro:
Try: Imhoff
Pens: Germain 4
Drop: Hernandez

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Filise, Cuthbert
Cons: Parks 2
Pens: Parks 4

Racing Metro: 15 Gaeten Germain, 14 Sereli Bobo, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Mathieu Loree, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Antoine Batut, 6 John Leo'o, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Johannes Coetzee, 19 Lionel Nallet, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Jonathan Wisniewski, 22 Virimi Vakatawa, 23 Remi Vaquiin.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Thomas (c), 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 John Yapp, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Paul Tito, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Gavin Evans.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

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