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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Pool 2
- 18th Jan 2014
- KO 15:40
- Ground: Cardiff Arms Park
- Att: 12,125
Heineken Cup Pool 2: Cardiff Blues fall to 19-13 home defeat by Exeter
- Heineken Cup live!
- Bowe ruled out of Tigers clash
- Leicester planning Burns talks
- Cup calculations
- O'Gara: Tough call for duo
- Warburton nearing return
- Muller hails prolific Pienaar
- Tough draw for English sides
- Backing Clermont
- Leinster v Ospreys: Teams
- Munster v Edinburgh: Teams
- Leicester v Ulster: Teams
- Clermont v Racing Metro: Teams
- Perpignan v Gloucester: Teams
- Montpellier v Treviso: Teams
- Scarlets v Harlequins: Teams
- Cardiff Blues v Exeter: Teams
- Glasgow v Toulon: Teams
- Leinster safely through
- Toulouse edge past Zebre
- Toulon hold their nerve
- Montpellier crush Treviso
- Gloucester win in Perpignan
- Botica boots Quins to victory
- Clermont book date with Tigers
- Home comforts for Munster
- Pienaar stars in Ulster win
- Heineken Cup group stages conclude
- Saracens seal 11 try haul
- Quins march on in Europe
- Poor discipline costs Scarlets
- O'Shea delighted to remain in Europe
- Hines demands improvement
- Munster display clinical finishing
- Evans: Bonus point gives us a chance
- Munster secure home quarter-final spot
Cardiff Blues wound up their Heineken Cup campaign in losing fashion at the Arms Park as Exeter claimed a European home and away double over them with a hard-fought 19-13 victory.
Despite coming unstuck, though, the Blues might still have done enough - depending on Sunday's results - to claim a quarter-final place as one of three Heineken qualifiers for the second-tier Amlin Challenge Cup.
Gareth Steenson booted the already-eliminated Chiefs to a 19-13 victory kicking 14 points, including the conversion of lock Dave Armand's early try.
Wales wing Alex Cuthbert touched down for the Blues, with Leigh Halfpenny kicking two penalties and a conversion, and the Welsh side must now wait to see whether or not a losing bonus-point will be enough with regard to their Amlin aspirations.
A storming first-half performance by Exeter left the Blues reeling when the sides met in Devon three months ago, and once again they were quick out of the traps as they racked up 10 points in 13 minutes.
Armand crashed over following relentless pressure to claim a fourth-minute try that skipper Steenson converted, before a 40-metre Steenson penalty left the Blues further adrift.
Steenson extended Exeter's advantage midway through the half, and it would have been even worse for the Blues had their opponents not wasted a couple of threatening positions established by outstanding work from a fired-up Chiefs pack.
Halfpenny opened the Blues' account by booting an angled penalty ten minutes before the break, although his defensive hesitancy shortly beforehand allowed Exeter an attacking platform that they should have prospered from.
The Blues had been outplayed in terms of territory and possession for much of the first half, yet they prospered from their first genuine attacking opportunity and breached Exeter's defence a minute before the break.
Slick handling by the Blues backs had Exeter back-pedalling in defence and they could do nothing to prevent a try when Cuthbert cut back inside on a superb angle and claimed a high-class score. Halfpenny converted and the Blues were firmly back in contention, trailing just 13-10.
Buoyed by that score, the Blues forwards displayed a far healthier appetite for battle in the second half and Halfpenny wiped out Exeter's advantage by landing an angled 53rd-minute penalty.
It was an impressive recovery by the Blues, but Steenson soon put Exeter back in front when he completed his penalty hat-trick.
With heavy rain testing the handling skills of both teams, tactical kicking became an inevitable order of the day. Try-scoring opportunities were at a premium, with Halfpenny drifting a long-range penalty wide that would have hauled the Blues level.
The Blues, desperate to keep alive their European hopes in some shape or form this season, established a territorial foothold inside Exeter's 22 as the clock ticked down, and it was a case of keeping their composure after referee John Lacey awarded them an attacking scrum five metres out.
Halfpenny, though, inexplicably missed a 25-metre penalty chance and Exeter breathed a collective sigh of relief before closing the game out through Steenson's clincher.
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|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Friday 17th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Castres|
|Saturday 18th October|
|13:00||Sale vs Munster|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|15:15||Glasgow vs Bath|
|17:15||Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton|
|Sunday 19th October|
|17:15||Leinster vs Wasps|
|15:15||Toulon vs Scarlets|
|13:00||Toulouse vs Montpellier|
|13:00||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|19:45||Scarlets vs Leicester|
|15:15||Bath vs Toulouse|
|17:15||Montpellier vs Glasgow|
|17:15||Northampton vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 26th October|
|13:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Sale|
|15:00||Castres vs Leinster|
|17:15||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|17:15||Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92|
|Saturday 6th December|
|TBC||Munster vs Clermont Auvergne|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
|TBC||Castres vs Wasps|
|TBC||Harlequins vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com