Blues edge out Edinburgh
Cardiff recover from slow start to take Heineken Cup victory
Last Updated: 10/10/10 11:20am
Laulala: First-half try
Cardiff Blues fought back from a 10-point deficit to secure a narrow 18-17 victory over Edinburgh in their Heineken Cup opener at Cardiff City Stadium.
The Welsh side have been tipped as an overall contender this season after winning the Amlin Challenge Cup last campaign but were almost made to pay for a lacklustre start.
After Allan Jacobsen had scored a try for the visitors, Chris Czekaj and Casey Laulala crossed the try-line to turn the match around before Ben Cairns made it a nervy finish for the Blues.
As Cardiff struggled at the scrum in the early stages, Chris Paterson slotted over a penalty to hand Edinburgh the lead while fellow Scot Dan Parks missed three attempts.
A Blues error then allowed the visitors to increase their advantage as hooker Rhys Thomas overthrew a lineout and the ball fell to scrum-half Mike Blair, who played in Jacobsen to crash over the line.
The five points were confirmed after consultation with the video referee and Paterson added the extras to make it 10-0.
The Blues finally began to fightback and Wales winger Leigh Halfpenny raced free towards the corner, but Blair's last-ditch ankle tap sent him stumbling to the ground.
Cardiff kept the pressure on and got their first points on the board as Parks knocked over a penalty after Paterson was shown the yellow card.
With Edinburgh a man short, in-form centre Laulala broke clear and fed Paul Tito, who played in Czekaj for the try, with Parks' conversion levelling the scores.
The fly-half added another three points before half-time as the hosts headed into the break with a lead that seemed unlikely after 25 minutes of action.
After the interval, the Scottish outfit began at a high tempo and the hosts were trapped inside their own half for a full 10 minutes until Czekaj relieved the pressure.
Parks then had two more chances to add to the lead but his disappointing night continued as he squandered both a drop-goal attempt and a penalty.
But the home fans were given more reason to celebrate as Laulala went over in the corner to put the finishing touches on a flowing move.
But Edinburgh provided an instant response as Curtis took advantage of an overlap on the right to touch down, with Paterson adding the extras.
However, the Blues were able to hang on for the remaining seven minutes and close out the win.