Cardiff Blues fail to capitalise in top of the table clash.
Leinster 24 Cardiff Blues 17
Saturday 16 February 7.30pm kick off RDS Magners League
The Blues got off to an excellent start straight from the kick off. A good passage of attacking play and patient build up by the whole team saw them working their way through a number of phases. Spreading the ball left and right before Maama Molitika crashed over to score in the third minute. Blair converted.
Minutes later, a good break by Jamie Robinson saw him beat three men and offload to the supporting Sowden Taylor. He linked up well with Spice who fed Macleod who sidestepped his man and run in under the posts. Blair again added the conversion. With fourteen minutes gone the Blues were fourteen points up.
Leinster were shocked by the Blues attack but gradually were getting their game together and pushing into the Blues half. They eventually won a penalty that Contepomi slotted.
Good defence by Gareth Thomas halted Leinster attack. Leinster were penalised for taking Tito out in the lineout and the Blues pushed the Irishmen back to their own half. Superb inter passing by Robinson and Macleod looked promising before they were turned over and Leinster cleared.
Leinster gradually worked their way into the Blues twenty two. They were five metres out from the try line, but some excellent defence was keeping Leinster out with the Blues putting bodies in the way. Eventually Leinster found a gap and Berne crashed over in the corner. Contepomi was again accurate with the boot.
However, Blair added a penalty to give the Blues the last score of the half.
HALF TIME LEINSTER 10 CARDIFF BLUES 17
The Cardiff Blues aimed to keep up the performance of the first half, but it was Leinster who were awarded a penalty early on for an offence in the scrum. This time the Argentinian outside half struck the ball wide, however, he succeeded with another attempt minutes later.
The Blues were dealt a blow when Molitika was awarded a yellow card in the 52nd minute and Contepomi was again accurate to bring the Irishmen within a point of the Blues.
It was a tense game and the Blues needed to pick things up as Leinster gained momentum. A charge down by Gareth Williams saw the ball roll over the Leinster line, but Contepomi won the foot race for the drop out.
Leinster were again awarded a penalty inside the Blues half and for the first time in the match they took the lead through Contepomis boot.
The Blues had a chance to regain the lead and Blair stood up for a penalty at goal but from 45 yards out his effort just didnt quite have the legs. The Blues were a point behind with 7 minutes left. A late drop goal attempt by Macleod went just wide and Leinster cleared up to the Blues half.
Leinster attacked and in injury time Luke Fitzgerald chipped ahead and touched down for a try. Contepomi struck the conversion just wide which meant the Blues would still go home with a losing bonus point.
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Jamie Roberts 13 Jamie Robinson 12 Gareth Thomas 11 Tom James 10 Nick Macleod 9 Jason Spice 8 Xavier Rush (c) 7 Robin Sowden Taylor 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito 4 Scott Morgan 3 Taufao Filise (65off) 2 Gareth Williams (70off) 1 John Yapp 16 Gary Powell (65on) 17 T Rhys Thomas (70on) 18 Ben White 19 Mark Lewis 20 Richie Rees 21 Rhys Jones 22 Tal Selley
CARDIFF BLUES LEINSTER
TRIES M Molitika x 1 M Berne x 1
N Macleod x 1 Fitzgerald x 1
PENALTIES Contepomi x 4
CONVERSIONS B Blair x 2 Contepomi x 1
YELLOW CARD M MOLITIKA