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Perpignan Leave Blues’ Hopes In Tatters

Tuesday 20th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 20/12/2005 15:28

- 20/12/2005 15:28

Cardiff Blues will go a long way to realising their ambitions of making it to the last eight of the Heineken Cup if , they can beat Perpignan in front of their home fans in Round 5.

The Welsh capital side, who have recruited the iconic figure of All Black Jonah Lomu this season, have experienced renewed optimism and huge crowds of late.

With 15 points from four matches played, they sit on the top of Pool 2, just one point ahead of Saturday’s visitors.

Perpignan are the only side to take points from the Blues this year. The 37-14 win in Round 2 at Stade Aime Giral was a fine result, but, the French side will do well to repeat that performance in front of an expected crowd of 12,500 at Cardiff Arms Park.

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Perpignan Leave Blues’ Hopes In Tatters

Tuesday 20th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 20/12/2005 15:28

- 20/12/2005 15:28

Perpignan came to Cardiff and silenced the Arms Park fans with a 21-3 win over the Cardiff Blues.

The French side, who desperately needed to win this match to stay in the chase for a quarter-final berth had too much power for the Blues, who failed to show the form of recent weeks.

That form had seen them sit on top of Pool 2, and an odds-on bet to make it to the final eight, but the Welsh side simply didn’t turn up.

It was an error strewn performance from the home side, their lack of ball retention and failure to get numbers in the contact area meant Perpignan won turnover ball time and time again.

The Blues started well, opening the scoring with fifth minute penalty goal from the boot of Nick Macleod, but that proved to be their only score as they stuttered and misfired through the match.

Perpignan’s run of 21 unanswered points began when powerful centre Jean-Phillipe Grandclaude muscled his way to the line. That try went unconverted and was the final score of the first period.

The second half was all Perpignan. A hat-trick of penalties from Nicolas Laharrague on 46, 54 and 62 minutes firmly established the visitors’ advantage. And when Laharrague converted David Marty’s 68th minute try, the home fans knew the game was up.

The Blues must now gain a bonus point victory againt Leeds next week to have any hope of making the quarter-finals.


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