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September 23, 2006

Cardiff Blues 27 - 9 Glasgow Warriors

Celtic League match played at Arms Park on Friday September 22nd 2006 | 7 comments

Thom Evans caused Cardiff problems but couldn't grab a try for Glasgow
Glasgow suffered their third defeat of the season, a result which ensures they remain ensconced in the lower reaches of the Magners League.

They showed plenty of endeavour, but it was only the tactical and goal kicking of Scotland outside-half Dan Parks that kept them in touch for the first hour of this game.

The Blues had most of the ball and posed the most potent attacking threat. The ball won by Glasgow was rarely good enough for them to exert real pressure and stretch the home defence, meaning they spent most of the match clinging onto respectability.

Left-wing Thom Evans showed his pace in the last few minutes but even he could not cross the line. It showed that last weekend's win over Munster was an encouraging sign of home form for the Warriors rather than something they can take with them on the road.

All the early pressure came from the Blues, any Glasgow attacks were easily broken down with Argentinean full-back Francisco Leonelli the only player able to slip a tackle in the opening exchanges.

However, the Blues were more threatening at long range. Players such as Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips were able to find gaps in the Blues half but those opportunities were closed down nearer to the Glasgow try line.

As a result, the early scoring came from the boot of Ben Blair, the full-back playing only his second game for the Blues since his high-profile move from New Zealand.

He slotted two penalties in the first half hour, the Blues best try-scoring chance being when left-wing Chris Czekaj was racing for the corner only to be stopped by a tackle from opposite number Hefin O'Hare.

All that changed just before the break and it was no surprise that Blair was the player to go over. He was put through the middle by a beautifully delayed pass by Blues centre Tom Riley and was able to wrong foot Leonelli on the line.

Glasgow did fight back from the kick off and the pressure of their forwards following up brought a short range penalty, slotted by Dan Parks.

Better news was to follow as a speculative kick ahead ended up with Wales centre Tom Shanklin picking up the ball in an offside position and then kicking the ball away to bring the penalty 10 yards closer. Parks duly took advantage to close the gap. After the break Parks showed he was able to land penalties from longer range as well. Rather like a Ryder Cup golfer going for a par five over the water in two, his third penalty was a three-wood effort from just inside the Blues half and it scraped over the bar from the limit of his kicking power.

That stung the Blues into a response and an ordinary attack was transformed into a try-scoring one by right-wing Mosese Luveitasau. The Fijian sprinted onto a long pass from Nicky Robinson with such pace that his momentum took him outside the defenders and he was able to go round under the posts. Blair added the conversion.

The Blues stretched their lead and sealed the win when Shanklin made up for his earlier daftness by powering over under the posts from a period of pressure on the Blues line.

Report from The Scotsman

Referee Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Attendance 6,326
Justin Va'a
Fergus Thomson
Euan Murray
Andy Newman
Alastair Kellock
Andy Wilson
John Barclay
John Beattie
Graeme Beveridge
Dan Parks
Thom Evans
Scott Barrow
Andrew Henderson
Hefin O'Hare
Francisco Leonelli
Eric Milligan
Kevin Tkachuk
Dan Turner
Calum Forrester
Sam Pinder
Colin Gregor
Sean Marsden
Match Substitutions
Off On
Andy Newman Dan Turner
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Sam Pinder
Off On
Francisco Leonelli Sean Marsden
Off On
Justin Va'a Kevin Tkachuk
Off On
Andy Wilson Calum Forrester
Off On
Fergus Thomson Eric Milligan
Off On
Dan Parks Colin Gregor
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Dan Parks Penalty
Posted by Alistair Hutton on September 23, 2006 09:46 AM | Reply to this comment

What's happened to Leonelli? I thought he was one of Edinburgh's satnd out performers last season. For Glagow he's been, well, crap.

Posted by vicki on September 23, 2006 10:09 AM | Reply to this comment

A little unfair, I think - yes he had a shocker last night, but in oher matches he has has looked very good. I'm hoping he was just having a 'mare of a game, and will sort himself out for next week.

Posted by gbmcgn on September 23, 2006 10:49 AM | Reply to this comment

Didn't see any of the game last night...but why are Glasgow sturggling to get much possession in their games? Is it a set-piece issue or are they coughing up the ball too easily when they do get possession?

Tough assignment down in Cardiff but still disappointing.

Posted by vicki on September 23, 2006 11:04 AM | Reply to this comment

Yep - very disappointing after a promising first half. When we did get possession, the ball was spilled far too often with wayward passing.

I am less depressed today than I was after watching the Scarlets game, because last night we did look like there was some potential there, and if the passing had been slicker, we would have scored a couple of decent tries. I thought Hefin did well, as did Beattie and Barclay. Euan had a good defensive game. Scott Barrow looked very hungry, although Muffles was clearly out-of-position.

One more thing - Jonathon Davies is a tw%t.

Posted by Alistair Hutton on September 23, 2006 11:29 AM | Reply to this comment

That's a little harsh on Jonathon Davies. He's not a twat, he's just very often completely wrong. At one point is was complaining about a wasted overlap with his ususal refrain of "If they'd only put it through the hands rather than trying by big miss pass..." and I felt like finishing that sentance off with "then even if they had lightning quick hands the outside centre would have been taken man-and-ball and the oppertunity would be wasted".

I don't think he appreciates how much faster modern defences move, and how people actually tackle rather than just flailing their arms around.

Posted by ajm686 on September 23, 2006 12:44 PM | Reply to this comment

Glasgow did play better last night - ordinary v blues as opposed to bloody awful v scarlets ... home form is what is really important this season, take the home points and anything away is a bonus.

Posted by gnasher on September 24, 2006 08:18 PM | Reply to this comment

Thought the forwards stuck at it pretty well. TRhe stats suggest that the possession was not far off even (Glasgow slightly down. But there really isn't any spark in midfield. Hefin and Scott are the most likely to break the line -so why not try them as a centre pairing? Perhaps, Thom might get a run at the opposition from inside their half. I agree that home form is the critical matter and Cardiff in Cardiff will never be easy.

Keep at it guys.

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