Planet Rugby

14-man Exiles make Cardiff sweat

18th November 2011 18:37

Share:

dan parks

Dan Parks: 14 points for the Blues

Cardiff Blues made it back-to-back wins in the Heineken Cup after beating a 14-man London Irish outfit 24-18 at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday.

The victory sees the Welsh side maintain pole position in Pool 2, while the Exiles drop anchor at the bottom following their second defeat on the trot.

The hosts started the match with plenty of promise after opening a 10-0 lead with barely seven minutes gone on the clock, courtesy of a Dan Parks penalty before hooker T Rhys Thomas went over for the opening try from a line-out converted by Parks.

London Irish struggled to get a foothold on the game as Cardiff launched several more attacks, but failed to convert pressure into points.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors, after inside centre Steven Shingler was shown a red card for a tip tackle on his opposite number Dafydd Hewitt in the 19th minute of the match which meant London Irish would be forced to play the remaining three quarters of the match with 14 men.

The writing was on the wall for the Exiles, but Toby Booth's men erased any thoughts of one-way traffic as the visitors managed to cut the deficit to just four points (13-9) with thanks to three penalty kicks from full-back Tom Homer.

But from a Cardiff Blues restart - following Homer's third penalty two minutes before the break - Michael Paterson did tremendously well to win the ball back for his team, which set up scrum-half Lloyd Williams to race through untouched for a crucial try on the stroke of half-time.

Parks missed the conversion from far out, but the half-empty stadium would have breathed a sigh of relief that their team managed to extend their lead to 18-9 following a brave comeback from the Exiles.

But it didn't end there for the visitors.

The Blues pressed hard for a third score immediately after the break but the second period soon became a cagey affair dominated by the boot.

Parks kicked the Blues further ahead on 50 minutes after Homer had produced a try-saving tackle on Cuthbert three minutes earlier.

Homer then produced the goods at the other end of the field with a brace of penalties on 53 and 63 minutes to narrow the gap to 21-15 and keep Irish's hopes of an upset on the cards.

Parks looked to have settled matters by opening up an eight-point gap once again with just over 10 minutes to go but Homer's 74th-minute strike led to a nervy finish and ensured Toby Booth's men left with the least they deserved for a fully-committed display at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The scorers:

For Cardiff:
Tries: Thomas, Williams
Con: Parks
Pens: Parks 4

For London Irish:
Pens: Homer 6

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Paul Tito, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Tau Filise, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 John Yapp, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Maama Molitika, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Gavin Evans.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Ross Samson, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matthew Garvey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 James Sandford, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Jonathan Spratt, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand20:50
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
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
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
More Top 14 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
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
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
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
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
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615