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PREVIEW: Evans wants victory at Irish in 100th appearance

Thursday 11th December 2014

12:00 am (GMT)

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Pour sa centième apparition sous le maillot des Cardiff Blues

Pour sa centième apparition sous le maillot des Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues centre Gavin Evans is hoping to repeat their European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over London Irish at the Madjeski Stadium on his 100th appearance for the region.

Evans arrived from the Scarlets in 2009 and won the Challenge Cup title a year later in one of his 30 appearances in Europe.

And the Blues back is hoping to repeat that success, but knows his side have to see off the Exiles for the second week in a row to ensure they have their quarter-final fate in their hands.

He said: “If we concentrate on ourselves, get things right and approach it like we did last week we can look forward to a good game again.

“When you play at home you expect to win. I know they are not doing how they would like in the English league, but they are a good side, throw the ball about and play with width and have strike runners. They also have a very big and powerful set of forwards.

“It will be a tough game, but if we stick to what we are good at and keep the ball for a lot of phases then we can come away with a win.”

London Irish need to stop the rot that has seen them lose six consecutive matches in all competitions. They are second bottom of the Premiership but enjoyed better times in Europe, until they were defeated 24-14 at the BT Sport Arms Park.

It is a two-horse race at the top of Challenge Cup Pool One and the Madjeski clash is set to decide who goes through as pool winners But hooker David Paice says morale is still high amongst the ranks.

He said: “We are confident in our ability and the way we play and feel we took a big step forward against Cardiff. We are on the up, we started the season strongly, we had a dip but are back on the way up.”

  • Cardiff Blues ended the Exiles’ four-game winning run in the Challenge Cup last weekend and in turn extended their own winning streak in the competition to six games.
  • Three of Cardiff Blues’ six wins in the competition have been against teams from England, with two of those wins coming on English soil.
  • London Irish have won 17 of their last 19 home games in the Challenge Cup, however they suffered defeat in their only home game against Welsh opposition in the tournament.
  • The Cardiff Blues and London Irish fullbacks, Adam Thomas and Andrew Fenby, beat six defenders each last weekend – more than any other players on the pitch.

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REPORT: Exiles take revenge on Blues

Saturday 13th December 2014

12:00 am (GMT)

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Les London Irish et les Cardiff Blues se neutralisent sur la double confrontation de décembre

Les London Irish et les Cardiff Blues se neutralisent sur la double confrontation de décembre

London Irish took top spot in Pool 1 after winning their top-of-the-table clash with Cardiff Blues.

Andrew Fenby crossed twice as the Exiles exacted revenge for their defeat at the Arms Park last week.

It was a direct turnaround from that game with neither side picking up a bonus point but the victory was enough for London Irish to take control of the group.

Shane Geraghty also crossed for the Exiles while Tom Homer kicked 19 points.

In contrast Cardiff scored the first and last tries – through Corry Allen and Gareth Anscombe – of a thrilling encounter at the Madejski Stadium.

But they struggled to match the power of the home pack despite the return of British Lions and Wales captain Sam Warburton.

It looked a different story when Allen finished a powerful burst by British Lion Alex Cuthbert on ten minutes.

Geraghty masterminded a response when he released Topsy Ojo. The wing was halted by Lloyd Williams but Fenby was on-hand to finish the attack.

Homer converted and added a second penalty for a 16-7 that was whittled down to 16-13 by Anscombe’s penalties before half-time.

However the New Zealander was not so successful with the boot when he was charged down for the second week in a row at the cost of a try. Geraghty blocked the kick and then had a simple run-in from 30 metres out.

Anscombe responded with a third penalty but Cardiff made a mess of the re-start and Fenby had an easy finish.

Homer missed the conversion but struck a penalty before Anscombe again mustered a response. The fly-half picked a clever angle to touch down before converting his own score.

Both teams threw everything into claiming a bonus point but Cardiff went closest but try-scorer Fenby denied Cuthbert in the final seconds.


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