SATURDAY 14 APRIL 4.10PM KICK OFF MAGNERS LEAGUE
Edinburgh kicked off the match in ideal weather conditions at the Arms Park. The visitors put early pressure on the Blues but they dealt with the attack efficiently. Martyn Williams brilliantly turned the ball over and cleared up field but careless hands amongst the Blues forwards resulted in Edinburgh being awarded a number of scrums early on.
The first quarter of the match was dominated by handling errors and Edinburgh turning over Blues ball.
It was twenty minutes before the Blues made an impact. Andy Powel ran powerfully through the Edinburgh defence before eventually being pushed in to touch yards short of the try line. Marc Stcherbina also showed a good turn of pace and clever hands to break the gain line before the offload was passed forward.
The Blues were beginning to look threatening and neat inter passing by Rhys Thomas and Martyn Williams saw the Blues break in to Edinburgh twenty two before Andy Powell powered over in the corner in the 24th minute. Blair kicked the conversion.
The score seemed to settle the home side and moments later Ben Blair broke through and dummied the Scots defence before releasing Rhys Williams to touch down for the second try. The Blues winger had come back from a severe hip injury and performed with power and pace throughout the match.
The score had certainly changed the face of the game and the Blues were now playing with momentum behind them and Andy Powell, playing his first game since returning from a serious shoulder injury, broke again and passed to Mike Phillips 40 yards out. He had just enough pace to beat the defence and score in the corner.
A chip ahead by Nick McLeod resulted in a ruck where the Blues were awarded a penalty, just on the half way line. Mike Philips, alert as ever, took it quickly and released Rhys Williams who sprinted in for his second try of the afternoon.
It wasn't long before Williams got his hat trick, finishing of a neat move by Nick Macloed which had split the Edinburgh defence.
With the bonus point secured there was a renewed confidence amongst the Blues players and Mike Phillips lead the way attacking from inside his own twenty two. He released Ben Blair who showed exceptional pace. Breaking all the way form inside his own twenty two, he had Warnock, the Edinburgh full back to beat on the half way line; but Blair turned him inside out and sprinted to the corner to touch down.
HALF TIME CARDIFF BLUES 36 EDINBURGH 0
The second half would have a lot to live up to following a blistering end to the first half.
The Blues did break away with some neat inter passing between forwards and backs. Blair kicked ahead; the ball bounced kindly in to his hands for him to cross for his second try of the match. Edinburgh never gave up and did put pressure on the Blues, but their defence was too strong. They ensured a record league win for the region when Nick Macleod kicked ahead and gathered the ball and sprinted in for the 8th try of the afternoon. The result moved the Blues up to fourth in the league and ensured that the title chase was still alive.