Saturday 11 August 2012 Cardiff Arms Park
After weeks of preparation, with more work to come, the Arms Park was ready to host the first game of the season with Cardiff Blues taking on Phil Davies' former side Worcester Warriors.
The weather conditions were ideal and a healthy crowd, of 4,539 supporters, for a summer friendly, enjoyed the sun and made the most of the new facilities at the ground.
It was running rugby from the start with Dan Fish going on a mazy run coming to within yards of the try-line before winning a penalty that Tovey converted. Goode soon equalised with an equally simple effort.
Worcester came close to scoring the first try of the day when some relaxed defence saw the Blues have a kick charged down and then a knock-on saw Worcester launch an attack, which was nearly scored in the corner by Ben Howard.
Andy Goode gave the visitors the lead with a long range penalty before they extended their lead with a try from Number 8 Taulava from short range. Goode added the extras.
The Blues had a golden opportunity to strike back straight away having kicked a penalty in the corner only yards out. However, they overthrew on the lineout that saw Worcester gather and break to clear. The lineout was proving a concern with four overthrows proving costly.
Worcester struck back instantly when they spread the ball left. Claassens did well to go wide to stretch the defence and flip the ball back inside for Chris Pennell to score. Goode added the difficult conversion.
The Blues did strike back when Macauley Cook gathered a Ben Howard pass and showed some great speed to break all the way to the Worcester twenty two, before feeding Tom Williams to touch down. Tovey converted.
Half time Cardiff Blues 10 Worcester Warriors 20
The Blues started the second half with pretty much a new team. However, Worcester nearly scored from the kick off and it was only a foot in touch that saved them with the Warriors being called back for a lineout.
The Blues also had a chance in the corner spreading the ball left to Tom Williams who was just in touch before Gavin Evans touched down.
Williams did score moments later when again the Blues showed quick hands following a Sweeney break, allowing the young winger to squeeze in at the corner, despite looking like he was in touch again. Sweeney was wide with the difficult conversion.
It was an entertaining encounter with the ball being passed around and Worcester once again coming close to scoring following and excellent break by Nellany.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon came in the 60th minute when Tom Williams intercepted the ball just outside his twenty two and sprinted in to score under the posts for his hat-trick. Sweeny got the easy extras. Carlisle got a penalty back for Worcester to bring the score to 22-23.
Like in South Africa, it looked as if Ceri Sweeney had clinched the victory for the Blues with a long distance penalty with two minutes left. However, there was still time for Frost to score from the restart and Carlisle to convert.
1st Half Team
15. Dan Fish 14. Tom James 13. Gavin Evans (c) 12. Rhys Patchell 11. Tom Williams 10. Jason Tovey 9. Lewis Jones
8. Andries Pretorius 7. Josh Navidi 6. Macauley Cook 5. James Down 4. Lou Reed 3. Benoit Bourrust 2. Rhys Williams 1. Nathan Trevett
2nd Half Team
15. Chris Czekaj 14. Owen Williams 13. Gavin Evans (c) 12. Gareth Davies 11. Tom Williams 10. Ceri Sweeney 9. Robert Lewis
8. Andries Pretorius 7. Thomas Young 6. Rory Watts-Jones 5. James Down 4. Robin Copeland 3. Scott Andrews 2. Andi Kyriacou 1. Taufa'ao Filise
15 Chris Pennell 14 Errie Claassens 13 Jon Clarke 12 Ravai Fatiaki 11 Ben Howard 10 Andy Goode 9 Shaun Perry
8 Semisi Taulava 7 Sam Betty 6 Chris Jones 5 James Percival 4 Dean Schofield (c) 3 James Currie 2 Aleki Lutui 1 Ceri Jones
16 Ollie Hayes 17 Matt Mullan 18 Ryan Furniss 19 Craig Gillies 20 Blair Cowan 21 Ollie Frost 22 Joe Carlisle 23 Josh Matavesi 24 Alex Grove 25 Joe Nellany
REFEREE Gwyn Morris ASSISTANTS Neil Perkins & Gareth John
Tries T Williams x 3
Con Tovey x 1 Sweeney x 1
Pen Tovey x 1 Sweeney x 1
Tries Taulava x 1 Pennell x 1 Frost x 1
Con Goode x 2 Carlisle x 1
Pen Goode x 2 Carlisle x 1