RaboDirect Pro12: Jamie Roberts signs off on a high in final home game for Cardiff Blues
Last Updated: 13/04/13 5:07pm
Jamie Roberts: Cardiff centre is joining Racin Metro next season
Cardiff Blues regained eighth place in the RaboDirect PRO12 table from Connacht thanks to a 28-13 victory over Zebre in a mud-fest at the Arms Park.
Tries from outside-half Rhys Patchell, and centres Gavin Evans and Jamie Roberts, coupled with two conversions and three penalties for a 13-point haul from Six Nations player of the tournament Leigh Halfpenny were enough to beat the Italian outfit.
It was the Welsh region's final home match of the campaign but the conditions meant it was near impossible to give the departing Roberts and Ceri Sweeney a Barbarian style send-off of running rugby. Lions and Wales centre star Roberts is joining French big spenders Racing Metro while former Wales outside-half Sweeney has signed for Exeter Chiefs.
Roberts crashed over for his touchdown late on as the Blues overtook Connacht who had passed them in the standings last night courtesy of a win over Edinburgh.
Zebre were game opponents but lacked the skill, power, pace and confidence to provide a serious challenge. Their only try, from substitute Filippo Cristiano, came in the final minute.
Former New South Wales Waratahs Super 15 ace Daniel Halangahu and Halfpenny exchanged early penalties before Cardiff took charge when back-row forward Michael Paterson picked off an opposition hooker Davide Giazzon's throw at a line-out for Patchell to squirm his way over.
The Blues began to assert their authority and the pressure they generated resulted in Halfpenny making it 13-3 in their favour with another not too demanding penalty.
Halangahu landed another penalty for Zebre before Halfpenny restored the Blues' 10-point advantage with a trademark long-range penalty strike after Giazzon failed to release after being tackled.
And it got better on the stroke of half-time when Patchell counter-attacked from deep and found Evans just inside a touchline. The centre accelerated and out-sprinted the cover for a runaway try to make it 21-6 in favour of the Blues.
Zebre had right-wing Leonardo Sarto sin-binned for attempting to trip Patchell while Halangahu was short with a long-range penalty attempt.
A magnificent leap and catch from Roberts when he chased an up-and-under from Halfpenny led to the Blues securing a penalty. They turned down a kick at goal and went for a try. Roberts was stopped just short of the line after sliding forward while right wing Owen Williams was bundled into touch near a corner flag.
Roberts eventually got over, Halfpenny adding the conversion, before Cristiano replied with a try converted by fellow replacement Alberto Chiesa.
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht13 - 31Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues23 - 31Ospreys
Munster30 - 19Treviso
Dragons10 - 29Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 19
Ulster will aim to finish at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table when they take on Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill.
Connacht say goodbye to their number seven Johnny O'Connor when they take on Glasgow at the Galway Sportsground.
Paul O'Donohoe's last-minute try salvaged a 23-23 draw for Connacht in Treviso.
- Weir injury blow for Glasgow
- Leinster boost play-off hopes
- Davies stars in Scarlets win
- Ulster bag bonus at Connacht
- Soaring Glasgow claim points
- Forwards seal Treviso win
- Dragons hold off Munster rally
- Scarlets v Cardiff: Teams
- O'Driscoll seals Leinster win
- Ospreys soar into top four
- Connacht hold off Edinburgh
- Bowe inspires Ulster romp
- Scarlets see off Glasgow
- Munster v Leinster: Teams
- Cardiff Blues v Zebre: Teams
- Edinburgh v Connacht: Teams
- Scarlets v Glasgow: Teams
- Treviso-Connacht postponed
- Ulster finally win in Dublin
- Ospreys stay in play-off hunt
- Scarlets hold off Dragons
- Glasgow top with Munster mash
- Successive wins for Edinburgh