SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER. 3.00 PM KICK OFF - MADJEKI STADIUM
The travelling Cardiff Blues fans had an early glimpse of Jonah Lomu who was up at the Madjeski Stadium supporting his new team mates.
The Blues got off to a good start as Nicky Robinson kicked a penalty after London Irish drifted offside. However Irish soon piled the pressure on the Cardiff defence following a Lineout in the Blues twenty two. The Blues defended bravely until Irish eventually drove over with Paul Gustard claiming the first try of the game converted by Ross Laidlaw. The Cardiff Blues fought back with some excellent breaks from Marc Stcherbina and Rhys Williams following a penalty for Nicky Robinson after London Irish again went offside.
With the referee eventually finding his cards the Blues suffered a blow as Robin Sowden-Taylor was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for an infringement. Irish made the most of the extra man in the pack as they once again drove over the line with Paul Gustard claiming his second converted once again by Laidlaw. The Irish extended their lead further with a try for Rodd Penney following an excellent break by Laidlaw who converted the try.
The Blues pushed in to the Irish half and were awarded a penalty that they kicked to the corner. They were awarded for their adventure as they won the line out at the back and Mike Phillips showed great speed and strength to score the first try for the Blues converted by Nicky Robinson.
LONDON IRISH 21 CARDIFF BLUES 13
Mike Phillips again came close to scoring when pressure by Cardiff saw the young scrum half held up just over the line. Phillips was again unlucky when he seemed to score a try following a break from the base of a ruck only for the referee to call him back for crossing.
The Blues didn't have to wait long for the try as they kicked a penalty to the corner which saw them win the lineout and hooker Gareth Williams emerged from the maul to cross and score the second try. Nicky Robinson once again converted to bring the Blues to within one point of Irish.
However it was London Irish who extended their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a high tackle, converted by substitute Barry Everitt. Nicky Robinson kicked a long range penalty to bring the Blues to within one point again but it was Irish who extended their lead as centre Shane Geraghty dropped a goal to bring the final score to London Irish 27 Cardiff Blues 23. With the confirmation that Wasps had beaten Saracens to progress to the semi finals the Cardiff Blues now travel to Calvisano to face the Italian champions in the Heineken Cup.