Biarritz Olympique 6 Cardiff Blues 10 Saturday 13 December 230pm kick off Heineken Cup A wet and windy south of France pitch wasn't ideal for running rugby in this crucial Heineken Cup match, but the Blues started the game much better than last week, with everyone knowing what to expect from the French opposition. A penalty against Bidabe early on gave Blair a chance at goal from 45 yards out, and despite the whistles of the home fans he did well to convert. Just a minute later the Blues capitalised on another Biarritz mistake. Nicky Robinson put in a big up and under and Gareth Thomas did well to charge down the clearance, with Jamie Robinson pouncing on the ball for the try. Blair converted and it was a great start for the Cardiff Blues. With the weather worsening, the match was turning into a kicking context, with both teams trying to gain territory, but to their credit Biarritz were also trying to run the ball and looked threatening on occasions but the Blues defence was solid, with Gareth Thomas putting in some crucial tackles on the wing. There was 30 minutes on the clock before Biarritz took their first shot at goal and from just inside his own half Traille converted. Biarritz nearly broke away when a Robinson chip through rebounded and Peyrelongue hacked through. Robinson, Powell and Halfpenny did well to recover but they conceded a penalty in their own twenty two that Peyrelongue converted. A sliced kick by Robinson following the restart put more pressure on the Blues and they conceded another penalty, this time just outside their twenty two. This time Peyrelongue hit the post and the Blues cleared to leave the half time score at 10-6 to the Blues. Half time Biarritz Olympique 6 Cardiff Blues 10 It was nervy start to the second half with Biarritz nearly getting off to a flying start to the second half when Bolakoro charged down a Blair clearance, only to be beaten to the ball by Robinson, who touched down for the twenty two and prevent the try. A few mistakes were starting to creep into the Blues game but so far they were getting away with them, but it was a worry. Biarritz were building momentum and the match was turning into an arm wrestle with not much flair but a lot of fight. The Blues defence was valiant on their own try line keeping Biarritz out and holding the ball up when they did cross, eventually the Frenchmen had to resort to a drop kick that skimmed across the floor. However, Biarritz continued to attack and the Blues were stuck in their own half for 20 minutes of the opening second half. Great defensive work by Halfpenny and Gareth Thomas turned into attack, with Alfie hacking the ball downfield and putting real pressure on the Biarritz defence, who passed forward trying to clear. However, the Blues failed to capitalise on their territory and the Frenchmen cleared. Charge down kicks were costing the Blues heavily with the Blues putting added pressure on themselves and Biarritz turning the ball over and winning territory. Again, it would be a tense last ten minutes with only four points separating both teams. The Blues had fought doggedly and hung on for a famous win, which puts them in a great position at the top of Group 6 on 18 points, with away tri to Gloucester and a home match against Calvisano to come. 15 Ben Blair (20off25on) 14 Leigh Halfpenny (65off) 13 Jamie Robinson 12 Tom Shanklin 11 Gareth Thomas 10 Nicky Robinson 9 Jason Spice 8 Andy Powell 7 Martyn Williams (77off) 6 Maama Molitka 5 Paul Tito 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell (60off) 2 Gareth Williams (60off) 1 Gethin Jenkins 16 Taufa'au Filise (60on) 17 T Rhys Thomas (60on) 18 Scott Morgan 19 Robin Sowden Taylor (77on) 20 Darren Allinson 21 Ceri Sweeney 22 Tom James (20on25off65on) Cardiff Blues Tries Jamie Robinson x 1 Pen Blair x 1 Con Blair x 1 DG Biarritz Olympique Tries Pen Traille x 1 Peyrelongue x 1 Con DG Man of match: Ben Blair
Warren Gatland has confirmed he will be joining the fast approaching 50,000-strong crowd at Judgement Day III on Saturday to run the rule over potential Wales Rugby World Cup squad members in the competitive surrounds of the Millennium Stadium.
Cardiff Blues are hosting a special Open Evening this Wednesday night at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to give prospective students and parents the chance to discover more about our new and exciting rugby education programme.
The players at Cardiff Blues will be hoping to play with some true Gallic flair for the rest of the Guinness PRO12 season - after the region teamed up with a successful French bistrot in the Welsh capital.
Cardiff Blues will be celebrating St David's Day when the region faces Edinburgh Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 12.45pm) - with hundreds of children invited as part of our Regional Schools Day.
Fine footwear retailer The Brogue Trader - one of the official sponsors of Cardiff Blues - is celebrating after being recognised by the British Footwear Association at its annual Footwear Industry Awards.
Battling Cardiff Blues produced a second half performance packed full of character and spirit to push Ulster Rugby all the way in an absorbing Guinness PRO12 encounter at a packed out Kingspan Stadium.