Cardiff's comeback floors Benetton
MATCH REPORT: Cardiff Blues came back from being 19-7 down to secure a 34-24 victory against Benetton Rugby in the PRO14.
The visitors got off to a blistering start and scored three tries in the first half compared to Cardiff’s single score from Jason Harries.
Jason Tovey’s conversion from Seb Davies’ bonus-point try was the first time Cardiff went in front in the match and Lewis Jones’ score sealed the victory.
Benetton started the brighter of the sides and capitalised with ten minutes on the clock when Monty Ioane broke down the left leaving Ian Keatley to run in a simple try.
The visitors struck again when after a period of pressure lock Irne Herbst was able to power over for Benetton’s second.
Cardiff got their first try of the evening when Harries crossed the whitewash after plenty of patient phase play from the home side.
But the Italian side regained their advantage in the 34th minute after number eight Toa Halafihi crashed over.
It took Cardiff just five minutes in the second half to score their second try of the match as Garyn Smith wriggled his way through the Benetton defence.
The Blues soon had another when Ryan Edwards crossed to score his first try for the side on his Guinness PRO14 debut.
Benetton soon restored the lead when Halafihi got his second of the evening after evading a couple of Cardiff tackles.
The hosts levelled the score once again when Davies dotted down and Tovey’s conversion put them in front for the first time in the encounter.
With minutes left in the match Benetton were pushing for another score but it was Cardiff who had the final flourish with Jones scoring to seal the win.
Play of the Day
Cardiff’s fifth try saw Lewis Jones dot down after Hallam Amos had drawn Benetton defenders all over the field.
The Welsh international put Edwards into space but he was brought down just short of the try-line, only for Jones to score moments later.
Man of the Match
With Benetton asserting their attacking flair, it was up to Cardiff to try and stop them.
Number eight Josh Turnbull put in an immense defensive shift and had 15 tackles and 12 carries to his name.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Harries, Smith, Edwards, Davies, Jones
Cons: Tovey 3
Tries: Keatley, Herbst, Halafihi 2
Cons: Keatley 2
Cardiff Blues: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Ryan Edwards, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Seb Davies, 4 James Ratti, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Max Llewellyn, 23 Dan Fish
Benetton: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian Keatley (captain), 9 Charly Trussardi, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Federico Ruzza, 6 Michele Lamaro, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Tomas Baravalle, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Nasi Manu, 21 Luca Petrozzi, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti
Referee: Frank Murphy Ireland
Assistant referees: Mike English (Wales), Rob O’Sullivan (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)