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Cardiff Blues

  • Copeland, Robinson,
    Penalty goals: Patchell (4),
22 - 26

Connacht

  • Faloon (2), Poolman,
    Penalty goals: Nikora (2), Vainikolo,
    Conversions: Nikora,

Cardiff Blues v Connacht - RaboDirect PRO12 preview

Last updated: 21st February 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gavin Duffy Connaught Rugby

Gavin Duffy: Will start at full-back for Connacht

Chris Czekaj in action for Cardiff Blues

Chris Czekaj: Makes his first start for the Blues this season

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Cardiff Blues have named full-back Chris Czekaj in their starting line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Connacht at the Arms Park.

Czekaj makes his first start for the Blues this season having recovered from a foot injury, suffered against Worcester in pre-season.

The Blues take on a Connacht team that beat Ospreys 22-10 in Round 15 but have not won back-to-back contests in the tournament since April. The Irishmen's only away win in the PRO12 this season remains the win at Zebre in Round 2.

Cardiff's last three games in the PRO12 have remarkably all been won by the away side on the day but they have a strong record against the Irish side with Connacht having won just two in their 19 previous matches with the Blues, both in Galway.

Meanwhile, Connacht have made four changes to the team that beat Ospreys last week.

While Robbie Henshaw remains in Ireland camp, fit-again skipper Gavin Duffy, who earned his 150th Connacht cap last week, will start at full-back on Friday.

Fetu'u Vainikolo is named on the wing, replacing Tiernan O'Halloran who suffered a knee injury against Ospreys.

With centres Dave McSharry (groin) and Kyle Tonetti (shoulder) both unavailable, 27-year-old Brian Murphy will start at inside centre.

Meanwhile, there is just one change up front with Andrew Browne replacing Mick Kearney in the second-row.

Recent returnee from injury Denis Buckley is named on the bench as well as replacement back-rower TJ Anderson.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Gavin Evans (c), 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Jason Tovey.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Brian Murphy, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 TJ Anderson, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matthew Jarvis.

What they said...

Cardiff Blues Director of rugby Phil Davies

"It was good to get the result up in Scotland last week against Edinburgh. We played well and our defence was strong.

"We've built our performances and had some good results since the start of the year.

"We want to continue building on that and gather some momentum.

"I'm sure that Connacht will be a tough encounter for us.

"They are a good team; a very direct side who kick well and run hard.

"Our defence will have to be up to the mark and our back three I'm sure will have a busy night.

"Former Blues fly half, Dan Parks, I'm sure will be a threat. He is a quality player and I know him well, being the first coach to bring him to the UK when I was coaching Leeds.

"He came over for eight games and did an excellent job. He was a great distributor and a running fly half. He was always a good goal kicker and his game has evolved a lot since he arrived."

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - October 12 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 6 5
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 31st October
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ospreys vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Leinster vs Edinburgh
Saturday 1st November
17:15Cardiff Blues vs Munster
18:00Scarlets vs Zebre
19:35Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 21st November
19:30Newport Gwent D'gons vs Munster
19:35Ulster vs Ospreys
19:35Connacht vs Zebre
19:35Scarlets vs Glasgow
Sunday 23rd November
14:30Benetton Treviso vs Leinster
16:00Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 28th November
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Munster vs Ulster
Saturday 29th November
16:00Zebre vs Edinburgh
17:15Leinster vs Ospreys
19:30Connacht vs Scarlets
Sunday 30th November
16:00Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 19th December
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets
19:35Edinburgh vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Leinster vs Connacht
Saturday 20th December
14:40Glasgow vs Munster
17:15Ospreys vs Ulster
Sunday 21st December
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Zebre
Friday 26th December
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons

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