FRIDAY 25 AUGUST 7.15PM KICK OFF
Following a convincing victory over Worcester Warriors the previous weekend Cardiff Blues welcomed another English premiership team to the Arms Park. Bristol kicked off proceedings and started strongly, kicking a penalty in the first two minutes after Cardiff Blues had drifted off side.However the Blues were also showing some neat touches with an excellent break by Nick Macleod and Tom Shanklin getting involved in the thick of it.
An over throw by the Blues in the line out following penalty kick to the corner saw Bristol steal the ball and attack in to the Cardiff half. The visitors were then awarded another penalty 40 yards our but Jason Strange's effort fell just short this time. The Blues were awarded a penalty minutes later but decided to kick for corner. They won the line out this time but the Bristol defence was solid.
A quick penalty by Wayne Evans saw the Blues move in to the Bristol half and the intention was clear - get the ball out wide as quickly as possible. New signing Mosese Luveitasau was again looking dangerous, but when the move broke down and Bristol killed the ball referee Nigel Owens didn't hesitate in showing Vaughan Going the yellow carded for killing the ball. The Blues kicked for corner rather than going for posts but failed to capitalise on their field position.
HT Cardiff Blues 0 Bristol Rugby 3
With the rain falling this obviously this was not going to be a ten try thriller as last week. On came Deiniol Jones in place of Bradley Davies, Scott Morgan for Mark Lewis and Andy Powell replacing Xavier Rush. Nick Robinson also came on at Outside Half with Nick Macleod moving to Full Back, and Rhys Williams moving to the Wing. Robinson was busy early on with an excellent take and clear when Blues were under pressure behind their own try line. The Blues were awarded a penalty and once again kicked for the corner but failed to capitalise. Bristol broke away but Marc Stcherbina was back covering and a cross field kick by Bristol would have lead to a certain try had Andy Powell not sprinted back and smother tackle Full Back Vaughan Going. Minutes later there was yellow card for Deiniol Jones for killing the ball and Jason Strange slotted the kick from in front of the posts.
A high tackle on Tom Shanklin in the 57th minute saw the Blues awarded with a penalty and once again go for corner. The Bristol full back knocked on the ball and Blues awarded a scrum five metres out, but once again they failed to capitalise. Tom Riley came on for Tom Shanklin after 60 minutes and it was good to see the British Lion had lasted so long with no distress to his knee. An interception pass saw Bristol nearly score and despite and overlap they managed to knock on and the Blues had a lucky escape. In the 72nd minute a late tackle on Chris Czekaj as he looked to chip the ball, saw the Blues awarded a penalty 40 yards out. This time they decided to go for goal and Nick Macleod stepped up and kicked the Cardiff Blues first points of the night.
The travelling support however had something to cheer in the 77th minute when winger Lee Robinson sprinted over to score following a well worked overlap. The conversion was kicked by substitute Danny Gray to bring the score to 13 -3. Minutes later Bristol scored another try when Joe El Abd was pushed over in the corner and once again Gray converted. Despite some attacking moves by Cardiff Blues late on that the game ended Cardiff Blues 3 Bristol Rugby 20.
15 Rhys Williams 14 Chris Czekaj 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Marc Stcherbina 11 Mosese Luveitasau 10 Nick Macleod 9 Wayne Evans 8 Xavier Rush (c)
7 Robin Sowden-Taylor 6 Mark Lewis 5 Rob Sidoli 4 Bradley Davies
3 Taufaao Filise 2 Gareth Williams 1 John Yapp
Replacements 16 Gary Powell 17 Duane Goodfield 18 Deiniol Jones 19 James Goode 20 Scott Morgan 21 Martyn Williams 22 Andy Powell 23 Darren Allinson 24 Nick Robinson 25 Dai Flanagan 26 Tom Riley
15 Vaughan Going, 14 Lee Robinson 13 Brian Lima 12 Rob Higgitt 11 David Lemi 10 Jason Strange 9 Shaun Perry 8 Dan Ward-Smith 7 Joe El Abd
6 Matt Salter (C) 5 Roy Winters 4 Gareth Llewellyn 3 Darren Crompton
2 Mark Regan 1 Dave Hilton
Replacements 16 Alex Clarke 17 Wayne Thompson 18 Craig Morgan 19 Dave Attwood
20 Alfie To'oala 21 Danny Gray 22 Brian O'Riordan 23 Geraint Lewis
24 David Blaney 25 Walter Pozzebon 26 Bernard Stortoni