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Cardiff Blues

  • Cuthbert,
    Penalty goals: Davies (4),
17 - 13

Scarlets

  • Owens, Priestland,
    Penalty goals: Priestland,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 20th Apr 2014
  • KO 14:00
  • Ground: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Att: 30,411

RaboDirect Pro12: Cardiff Blues beat Scarlets 17-13 at the Millennium Stadium

Last updated: 20th April 2014  

rhys priestland scarlets

Rhys Priestland: His off-key kicking proved costly for the Scarlets

alex cuthbert cardiff blues

Alex Cuthbert: Notched early try for Cardiff Blues

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Cardiff Blues kept alive their faint hopes of securing a place in next season's new-look European Cup with a thrilling 17-13 success over Scarlets in a game marred by two red cards.

After lengthy discussions in the second half, Blues number eight Robin Copeland was dismissed for stamping, while Scarlets full-back Liam Williams, who had received a yellow card early on, was given another for killing the ball as play continued.

But it was the off-key kicking of Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland which proved costly for the Scarlets, although their losing bonus point means they are still almost certain of clinching a European spot.

In the first game of the Welsh regional double-header at the Millennium Stadium, the resurgent Blues, whose victories in their last two matches had rescued a disappointing season, enjoyed a flying start.

They gained an early position at the corner and although Copeland was held up short, Wales wing Alex Cuthbert joined his forwards and stretched to touch down on the line for an unconverted try.

Cuthbert was the victim in the next significant incident, rising to catch a Scarlets kick only to be taken out in mid-air by the over-enthusiastic Liam Williams, who was handed his first yellow card after referee Ian Davies had watched it again on the big screen.

The Blues kept up the pressure on the 14-man Scarlets and picked up two penalties from fly-half Gareth Davies, but an apparent try by impressive flanker Macaulay Cook was ruled out for a forward pass and they were unable to take further advantage before Liam Williams returned.

The visitors had their first chance to get on the scoreboard when they were awarded a penalty on halfway, but Priestland's kick rebounded off a post.

The Wales fly-half was soon smiling, however, racing over after Jake Ball had collected a loose ball when Gareth Davies had a kick charged down.

But Priestland then missed the conversion in front of the posts, an error rubbed in when Davies slotted over another penalty.

Outstanding prospect

Outstanding Scarlet prospect Jordan Williams knifed through in midfield, only to spill the ball as he tried to offload.

But Priestland finally landed a penalty with the last kick of the first half.

And the west Wales region carried their momentum into the second period, hammering away at close range before spreading the ball wide for Jordan Williams to dive over.

The Scarlets' celebrations were short-lived, the TMO ruling that the final lobbed pass by centre Jonathan Davies had been forward.

Priestland missed another penalty and then came the sensational double sending-off.

Blues full-back Dan Fish was just too late to beat the covering defence in a chase for his own kick ahead and team-mate Gareth Davies showed his own fallibility by missing a straightforward penalty.

There was another lengthy delay as the officials examined a clash between the bearded Ball and Blues replacement prop Scott Andrews, but in the end took action against neither.

A superb run by Scarlets hooker Ken Owens launched an attack which skipper Jonathan Davies carried into the home 22 and, when play resumed after an injury, it was Owens who darted over for a try.

But Priestland's replacement at fly-half, Steve Shingler, was wide with the conversion that would have given his side the lead.

Gareth Davies promptly kicked his fourth penalty before the Blues survived a torrid last five minutes to secure a vital victory.

Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - August 29 2014
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 0 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 5th September
Guinness PRO12
19:35Munster vs Edinburgh
19:35Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 6th September
14:40Scarlets vs Ulster
17:00Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Glasgow vs Leinster
Sunday 7th September
17:00Zebre vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 12th September
19:35Ulster vs Zebre
19:35Edinburgh vs Connacht
19:35Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys
20:00Benetton Treviso vs Munster
Saturday 13th September
14:40Leinster vs Scarlets
Sunday 14th September
16:00Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow
Friday 19th September
19:30Munster vs Zebre
19:35Connacht vs Leinster
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Ulster
Saturday 20th September
TBCScarlets vs Benetton Treviso
14:40Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow
Sunday 21st September
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
Saturday 27th September
16:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh

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