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An Tarbh
05-09-08, 05:20 PM
<div align=\'center\'>http://www.therugbyforum.com/forum/uploads/Cardiff.pngCardiff Blues v Leinsterhttp://www.therugbyforum.com/forum/uploads/Leinster.png</div>

Blues coach Dai Young says he is ready for the biggest Magners League tests ahead of Saturday&#39;s visit of defending champions Leinster to the Arms Park.

"In the first week we face the last three champions, Leinster, Ospreys and Ulster," said Young, whose side were second in the table in 2007 and 2008.

All Black Isa Nacewa makes his Leinster debut at full-back in a side including Brian O&#39;Driscoll and Felipe Contepomi.

Jamie Roberts makes his Blues inside centre bow after doing so for Wales.

Young added: "It&#39;s the toughest start, Leinster did the deserved double on us last season.

"We know the challenge but are looking forward to it and will know where we stand after we&#39;ve played them."

Leinster back coach Alan Gaffney is also bracing himself for a stern season&#39;s opener.

"It&#39;s a very tough one first up, I haven&#39;t won too many times at the Arms Park - Dai Young has done such a good job there," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"There&#39;s a bit of added pressure on us as champions, but we just have to make sure that we perform to our own expectations."

Young says that his side are ready to cast off the bridesmaid tag.

It&#39;s great that we&#39;ve been there fighting to the end for the last two years, but you get nothing for finishing second," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"We want to go one step further - that&#39;s a nice sort of pressure to have and it shows how far we&#39;ve come over the last couple of years."

"Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: "Cardiff has a strong pack even without Xavier Rush, and they also have quality backs.

"That&#39;s something we&#39;ll have to deal with so we&#39;ve got to be smart and we&#39;ve got to be hungry."

Chris Czekaj makes his competitive return for the hosts after more than 12 months spent recovering from the badly broken leg he suffered playing for Wales against Australia.

Andy Powell comes in at number eight for injured Rush while summer recruit Ceri Sweeney is on the bench.

The visitors include Ireland internationals Shane Horgan and Rob Kearney have been named on either wing. Chris Whitaker captains the side.

Cameron Jowitt is alongside Ireland internationals Shane Jennings and number eight Jamie Heaslip in the back-row.

Meanwhile, Leinster Academy graduate Sean O&#39;Brien and former Ireland A captain John Fogarty could make their debuts off the bench.

Prop Stephen Knoop has recovered from illness to take his place on the bench, which includes Ireland trio Trevor Hogan, Luke Fitzgerald and Girvan Dempsey.

Blues: Ben Blair; Richard Mustoe, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Chris Czekaj; Nicky Robinson, Jason Spice; Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Williams, Taufa&#39;ao Filise, Bradley Davies, Paul Tito (capt), Mamma Molitika, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams.
Replacements: Gary Powell, T. Rhys Thomas, Scott Morgan, Ben White, Darren Allinson, Ceri Sweeney, Jamie Robinson.

Leinster: Isa Nacewa; Shane Horgan, Brian O&#39;Driscoll , Felipe Contepomi, Rob Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Chris Whitaker (capt); Cian Healy, Bernard Jackman, Ronan McCormack, Devin Toner, Malcolm O&#39;Kelly, Cameron Jowitt, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: John Fogarty, Stephen Knoop, Trevor Hogan, Sean O&#39;Brien, Chris Keane, Luke Fitzgerald, Girvan Dempsey.

Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU).

BBC Sport (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/welsh/7587012.stm)

Cymro
06-09-08, 07:43 PM
Ended 16 - 16

A game that the Blues SHOULD have won. Threw it away to many times but im afraid the ref had a shocker. Disallowed a stone wall penalty try that would have ensured a victory for us!

shazbooger
06-09-08, 08:13 PM
Leinster will be very happy to get away from there with two points. Didnt play well, and by the end injuries were starting to take their toll.

I thought the ref&#39;s interpretation of Cardiff players lying all over the ball was rather forgiving, so while he didnt have a blinder, it balanced itself out. Cardiff should have won, had plenty of opportunities to win, but simply didnt put em away. They only have themselves to blame if you ask me.

Cymro
06-09-08, 08:20 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ Sep 6 2008, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346269')</div>
Leinster will be very happy to get away from there with two points. Didnt play well, and by the end injuries were starting to take their toll.

I thought the ref&#39;s interpretation of Cardiff players lying all over the ball was rather forgiving, so while he didnt have a blinder, it balanced itself out. Cardiff should have won, had plenty of opportunities to win, but simply didnt put em away. They only have themselves to blame if you ask me.[/b]

To be fair Leinster lyed on the ball just as much, reckon Leinster got away with more than the Blues did!

shazbooger
06-09-08, 09:24 PM
Yeah your probably right. I didnt see it that way but I&#39;m as partisan as the next man so I wouldnt trust my judgement.

Cardiff actually looked pretty good. They retained posession really well (considering it was opening day) and their loose forwards were much more effective. Powell was particularly good and that No.6 (didnt catch his name) made some good gains with ball in hand.

Leinster&#39;s defense was good but without the ball there was sod all else they could do.

Cymro
06-09-08, 09:35 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ Sep 6 2008, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346280')</div>
Yeah your probably right. I didnt see it that way but I&#39;m as partisan as the next man so I wouldnt trust my judgement.

Cardiff actually looked pretty good. They retained posession really well (considering it was opening day) and their loose forwards were much more effective. Powell was particularly good and that No.6 (didnt catch his name) made some good gains with ball in hand.

Leinster&#39;s defense was good but without the ball there was sod all else they could do.[/b]

To be fair it was a good game for the first game of the season, plenty of action!

The 6. was Maama Molitika (he is a beast to be fair!) And it was probably the first game in 3 years that Andy Powell showed how good he acutally is. He has a handling issue at times but looked good tonight!

Looking forward to the next encounter between the two!

Cardiff Pirate
06-09-08, 09:38 PM
Cardiff should have won but just f***ed it up, missed drop goal opportunity towards the end?
I don&#39;t know if the ref was kinder to one team than the other but do we all agree he was a bit ****?

Thingimubob
06-09-08, 09:43 PM
was a good game, bit annoyed that they only drew, should have one that. The Blues didn&#39;t look as sharp as they did last week against Northampton. They&#39;ve really gotta pick things up if they want to get a result on Tuesday at the Liberty Stadium. Molitika had a stormer, Ben Blair had a pretty good game too and I thought Jamie Roberts did very well at center and got over the gain line most of the time, and made a couple of decent breaks. Thought Czekaj and Mustoe weren&#39;t all that good, and I think they should bring in Tom James and Aled Brew for the Ospreys game on Tuesday.

Cymro
06-09-08, 09:50 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Thingimubob @ Sep 6 2008, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346291')</div>
was a good game, bit annoyed that they only drew, should have one that. The Blues didn&#39;t look as sharp as they did last week against Northampton. They&#39;ve really gotta pick things up if they want to get a result on Tuesday at the Liberty Stadium. Molitika had a stormer, Ben Blair had a pretty good game too and I thought Jamie Roberts did very well at center and got over the gain line most of the time, and made a couple of decent breaks. Thought Czekaj and Mustoe weren&#39;t all that good, and I think they should bring in Tom James and Aled Brew for the Ospreys game on Tuesday.[/b]

Mustoe was gash to be fair to him! Reckon Czekaj will become better with more game time, remember for him its now more mental than physical! I would probably stick Tom James and Brew for the wings but id rather Tom James and Czekaj!

Cardiff Pirate
06-09-08, 10:29 PM
I think Tom James might have been out today due to injury, so maybe not ready for Ospreys.

shtove
06-09-08, 10:33 PM
Blair and Williams were excellent, but Cardiff should hang their heads. Four point lead after 60 mins of pure dominance? Bunch of knobs.

Leinster powder puffed their way up front, as usual. And the ball retention was a joke, with some really **** decision making. But then they actually started to get possession with some flashes of ball play. Any theories on why the game changed?

How&#39;s about BOD&#39;s classic tackle-penalty in the last few minutes? He&#39;s still got it. And Dempsey too. Don&#39;t understand why Horgan was taken off - mind you, Fitzgerald is truly good. And can&#39;t stand the scrum half.

Ref was ok.

Cymro
06-09-08, 10:49 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (shtove @ Sep 6 2008, 11:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346304')</div>
Blair and Williams were excellent, but Cardiff should hang their heads. Four point lead after 60 mins of pure dominance? Bunch of knobs.[/b]

Pretty much agree!

feicarsinn
06-09-08, 11:49 PM
disappointed by leinster pack was so so poor i nearly cried however BOD looked damn good when he got the ball suppose ya cant complain about 2 points away to cardiff with a performance like that

shazbooger
07-09-08, 12:02 AM
Yep, but there is some hope. You know Elsom, CJ and Cullen still to return.

We werent too far off the pace up front, just a bit passive.

shtove
07-09-08, 12:54 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ Sep 7 2008, 12:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=346316')</div>
We werent too far off the pace up front, just a bit passive.[/b]
A bit? :rolleyes:

Get Premiership on the coach and sack him - three years in a row with the hard men of the team all lining out the backs!

Sir Speedy
07-09-08, 04:18 PM
ROFL @ the missed penalty try. How blatant does it need to be? <_<
The ref was crap, Leinster were crap, Cardiff couldn&#39;t finish a move off to save their lives and it was still a very entertaining game...

An Tarbh
07-09-08, 07:44 PM
Commentator was like a stuck record in the build-up to the drop goal with the amount of times the Blues weren&#39;t staying off their feet at the breakdown. Still though happy with 2 points based on that performance.