The Worthington's Challenge
Cardiff Blues 40 Gloucester 10
Saturday 25 August 2007 5.15pm kick off
After nearly a three hour delay, caused by heavy bank holiday traffic on the motorways, Cardiff Blues finally kicked off to start the game.
The Blues pushed forward early on and won a penalty in the Gloucester half. They elected to kick for the corner and drove from the line out. Gareth Williams was in the middle of the maul and was pushed over for the first try of the afternoon. Ben Blair converted. Minutes later, excellent work by Sowden-Taylor saw the ball released to Tal Selley who showed great pace to work his way into the Gloucester corner.
A good turnover by Rush and an excellent break by Jason Spice into Gloucester twenty two looked promising. However an interception pass saw Ryan Lamb sprint the length of the pitch to score under the posts and covert to level the scores.
Later, Gloucester managed to gain field position with a kick up-field by Vainikolo, which led to Ryan Lamb converting a penalty to give Gloucester the lead.
Half Time Cardiff Blues 7 Gloucester 10
Five minutes into the second half Ben Blair struck a penalty just wide but the Blues were in rampant mood. Excellent hands in the backs saw the ball moved left and Selley just failed to touch down in the corner.
The Blues had good field position and a quick penalty by Spice saw the Blues attack. A long pass by Nicky Robinson released Rhys Williams, who cut back inside. Williams eluded three tacklers but his inside pass was picked up by a Gloucester player who cleared up-field.
Excellent work by Sowden-Taylor again stealing the ball from Prendergast saw Spice released down the right wing. He passed inside to Robinson who drew his man, but the pass back to Spice drifted into touch just yards from the Gloucester try-line
The Blues had the territory but were failing to finish off their chances. A huge shove in the scrum saw the Gloucester team pushed back and Blues win a penalty five yards out. They went for the scrum and a lovely pass by Robinson saw substitute Dafydd Hewitt cut through the defence and touch down. Robinson added the conversion.
The next score came from a great individual effort by Nick Macleod. Dafydd Hewitt had tracked back to tackle from a quick penalty and from the ruck the ball emerged in Nick Macleod's hands. From 60 yards out, he kicked through and gathered to sprint in for the fourth try of the afternoon. Robinson again converted.
The next score came as Xavier Rush crashed through the defence and passed out to Rhys Williams, who managed to skip through three tacklers to touch down. Mark Lewis, soon added to the score when a quick tap penalty saw him put in space and touch down under the post.
Ben White sealed a great evening at the Arms Park with the final try of the night.
Cardiff Blues 15 Nick Macleod 14 Ben Blair 13 Tal Selley 12 Marc Stcherbina 11 Rhys Williams 10 Dai Flanagan 9 Jason Spice 8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito 4 Deiniol Jones 3 Gary Powell 2 Gareth Williams 1 John Yapp 16 Rhys Gill 17 Ross Johnson 18 Bradley Davies 19 Mark Lewis 20 Richard Rees 21 Nicky Robinson
22 Dafydd Hewitt 23 Scott Roberts 24 Robert Sidoli 25 Ben White 26 Tom Riley
Gloucester RFC 15 Iain Balshaw 14 Mark Foster 13 Leon Lloyd 12Anthony Allen 11 Lesley Vainikolo 10 Ryan Lamb 9 Mike Prendergast 8 Adam Balding 7 Luke Narraway 6 Alasdair Strokosch 5 Alex Brown 4 Jonathan Pendelbury 3 Christian Califano 2 Olivier Azam © 1 Patrice Collazo 16 Andy Titterell 17 Alasdair Dickinson 18 Dan Tuohy 19 Andy Hazell 20 Dave Lewis 21 Willie Walker 22 Ali James 23 Olly Morgan