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Blues Stake Claim For Quarter-Final Place

Tuesday 13th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 13/12/2005 16:40

- 13/12/2005 16:40

Jonah Lomu will make his home debut for Cardiff Blues this Saturday after being named to start Saturday’s Heineken Cup tie against Ghial Calvisano.

The former All Black wing played his first competitive game of rugby for more than two years last weekend when he lasted an hour of the Blues’ 25-10 in Italy last weekend.

Now he will start for the first time at the Arms Park which is expected to be a sell-out for the return match against the Italians.

“I was very happy to get through that hour after so long out of the game,” said Lomu. “I felt fine the day after the game and now I just want to build on that and start really contributing to the team. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of good guys and great players.”

Saturday’s game at the Arms Park is predicted to be a sell-out with the Blues also pushing hard for a place in the quarter-finals.

Coach Dai Young has made three changes to the side that won in Calvisano with British Lion prop Gethin Jenkins starts his first game of the season after coming off the bench last week following a shoulder operation.

Wales centre Jamie Robinson replaces Tristan Davies and wing Craig Morgan also returns for try scorer Chris Czekaj.

Young said; “It was a very tough call for those changes but we have got a lot of games coming up and it’s important to give everyone in the squad some game time and the opportunity to put forward their case.”

The Blues have erected special seating to increase the Arms Park capacity to 12,500

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Blues Stake Claim For Quarter-Final Place

Tuesday 13th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 13/12/2005 16:40

- 13/12/2005 16:40

Cardiff Blues overpowered Calvisano 43-16 at the Arms Park, with All Black backrower Xavier Rush scoring a brace on his way to the man-of-the-match award .

Rush was the stand out player as the Blues built the lead they never looked likely of losing with three first-half tries. Blues skipper Rhys Williams also scored a brace, and if he can steer his side to a win over either Perpignan or Leeds in Rounds 5 and 6, he will find his side in the final eight of Europe’s elite club rugby competition.

The crowd-attracting Jonah Lomu had a steady if not eye catching match, however the 11,764 that turned up were not complaining, it was the biggest crowd at the famous venue for over five years

But the home fans were momentarily silenced just eight seconds into the match when Calvisano inside centre Hercules Kruger notched the game’s opening penalty.

The Italians dominated the opening exchanges, but fell behind after 10 minutes.

Lomu drove forward, found a pas to Jamie Robinson who fed Rush, and the former All Black went over in the corner. Jamie’s younger brother Nicky added a tough conversion.

A Marc Stcherbina break gave Robinson the chance to add three points, and the Blues took control of the match when skipper Rhys Williams glided through a huge gap in the defence to give his side a 15-3 lead.

Nicky Robinson missed the conversion but made amends with a clever break that resulted in Rush’s second try after 26 minutes.

Calvisano fullback Jacobus van Schalkwyk began a mini Calvisano fight back with a well-taken try in the corner, but the Blues took a 22-8 lead into the break, and secured their bonus point on the hour mark when Williams touched down in the right-hand corner.

Blues lock Craig Quinnell crashed over for his side’s fifth try, before the full blooded match boiled over injury time and Martyn Williams and Matteo Pratichetti found themselves in the sin-bin.

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