Heineken Cup Pool 2: Cardiff Blues hold off Glasgow Warriors
Last Updated: 07/12/13 8:31am
Rhys Patchell: Heads to the try line for Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues claimed top spot in Heineken Cup Pool 2 with a 29-20 victory over Glasgow at the Arms Park.
A young and much-changed Blues side came into the match as underdogs but played with verve and precision to see off the visitors from Scotland.
Tries from tyro stand-off Rhys Patchell and Wales international winger Alex Cuthbert and six successful kicks from Lions star Leigh Halfpenny proved enough to keep Cardiff in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.
Glasgow made a fast start but failed to keep control of possession at crucial times and were also too often on the wrong end of George Clancey's whistle.
Ryan Grant went in at the side and Halfpenny missed from the touchline, but moments later the Warriors were pinged for sealing off and this time Halfpenny made no mistake.
Cuthbert almost scored the first try but knocked on in goal as he tried to scoop up his own hack-on and it was left to Patchell to score the next points, slotting a monster penalty from five metres inside his own half.
Blues' turnovers were proving crucial and on 20 minutes Duncan Weir handed them a try-scoring opprtunity as he knocked on a simple pass in his own in-goal area.
From the resulting scrum Cuthbert got over the gainline and created the space for Patchell to charge over for a strong finish, with Halfpenny converting.
A Halfpenny penalty on 32 minutes stretched the lead to 16-0 but Glasgow gave themselves a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.
For once they retained possession and went through the attacking phases, before Sean Maitland cut inside Richard Smith to score, with Weir converting.
Halfpenny stretched the Blues' lead with a penalty just after the re-start but two Weir penalties got the visitors back to within six points with 20 minutes left.
Richard Smith's storming burst up the middle relieved the pressure for Cardiff and Glasgow conceded the penalty, which Halfpenny kicked.
But Glasgow looked to be in the ascendanacy and were pressing for what could have been a crucial score when Cuthbert saw his chance, timing his burst to the line perfectly and intercepting. He had a lot to do to score but held off Ruaridh Jackson on the outside to get in for the match-winning try, which Halfpenny converted.
With two minutes left Leone Nakarawa got over in the corner for Glasgow and Weir converted, but there was no time for them to threaten the score which would have earned a losing bonus point.
After playing a full part in an absorbing contest, they probably deserved to take something away ahead of next weekend's re-match in Scotland.