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Racing Metro 92 v Cardiff Blues – Preview

Thursday 10th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Racing Metro 92 welcome Cardiff Blues to Stade Yues Du Manoir on Friday evening

Racing Metro 92 welcome Cardiff Blues to Stade Yues Du Manoir on Friday evening

Racing Metro 92 welcome Cardiff Blues to Stade Yues Du Manoir on Friday evening, as they embark on their second season in the Heineken Cup.

Pierre Berbizier’s side didn’t have the easiest of debut seasons, winning just two of their opening six matches in last year’s competition.

Their fortunes have faired a little better so far this season, with the side winning five of their first ten TOP14 games and they will be boosted by the return of their International contingent.

Coaching duo Justin Burnell and Gareth Baber will lead Cardiff Blues into the competition for the first time after taking over control at the Welsh region following the departure of Dai Young in the summer.

The Blues have competed well domestically with their stars away on International duty but will look to their Wales contingent to lead from the front as they try to build for a place in the last eight for the first time since 2009.

The Blues tasted Amlin Challenge Cup success in 2010 but with a squad including household names Jamie Roberts, Sam Warburton, Martyn Williams, Dan Parks and Gavin Henson the region will be aiming for high honours in the Heineken Cup.

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Blues storm to opening victory in France

Friday 11th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Les Cardiff Blues entament leur campagne de H Cup sur une très bonne note

Les Cardiff Blues entament leur campagne de H Cup sur une très bonne note

Cardiff Blues kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign in style, beating Racing Metro 26 v 20 in Colombes on Friday evening.

Led by the return of a host of Welsh Internationals the Blues controlled the game for long periods as Racing Metro struggled for a foothold.

The game was marred by an early injury in the second minute to lock James Down who picked up a serious leg injury at the tackle area and was stretchered from the field before he was replaced by Paul Tito.

It took Cardiff a while to recover from the shock of Down’s injury and they found themselves 6-0 down to a penalty by full back Gaeten Germain and a drop goal by fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez.

But when the visitors did strike, it led to the game’s first try. Tito was tackled into touch just short of the Racing line after a slick handling move but from the lineout, Tongan prop Tau Filise picked up the loose ball for an easy try.

Fly half Dan Parks added the conversion to put the visitors a point ahead before the Scot and Germain swapped penalties to give the Cardiff Blues a 10-7 lead midway through the first half.

Racing Metro restored their lead with Argentine Juan Imhoff touching down but just before the break the Blues grabbed their second try with rookie wing Alex Cuthbert scoring in the corner to give the Blues a 17-14 half-time lead.

Parks and Germain swapped penalties during the second period, Parks kicking three to Germain’s two as the Welsh region hung on for a deserved victory.

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