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Welsh fully deserved welcome first win of their PRO14 season

(Tadhg Beirne, pictured, tried hard tonight for Munster)
GUINNESS PRO14 CHAMPIONSHIP:
Cardiff Blues 37, Munster 13
MUNSTER will head into one of their busiest and most testing four weeks of fixtures trying to find their away form after a night to forget in the Cardiff Arms Park.
On paper, the team selected looked strong but Welsh pride, fierce determination and some glittering scores by the Blues sent the reds home pointless. The warning bells rang early, Owen Lane getting over after two minutes for the homes side only for the TMO to spot some obstruction that cancelled that one out.
Instead of driving on from this let-off, Munster conceded a free kick at a scrum, then a penalty at the next scrum that set up the first try of four for the Blues with former Munster man Nick Williams powering over and Gareth Anscombe adding the extras. That score heralded Munster’s best spell of the game. They snatched up a loose ball in their own half, Joey Carbery broke before slipping a pass to Andrew Conway and the winger kicked and chased to score near the corner. Carbery missed the conversion. Three minutes later Munster led 10-7. Joey Carbery made a sensational break on the left hand side, Tadhg Beirne was first to regain possession and Carbery placed Conway for his second try. The out-half was again off-target with the kick.
An audacious break by Cardiff centre Rey-Ley Lo completely opened up the Munster defence on 18 minutes, Tomos Williams was up in support, 14-10 to the home side with Anscombe kicking the conversion.
A Beirne turn-over forced a Munster penalty on 22 minutes, converted by Carbery as the visitors reduced the lead to the minimum at the break.
Munster needed a decent start but it was Cardiff who scored first after the break, Willis Halaholo careering between Taute and Scannell to go over near the left hand corner and Ascombe’s accurate conversion pushed the lead to 21-13. Munster kept giving away penalties at scrum time and Cardiff increased their lead to 24-13 on 51 minutes, Anscombe again making them pay for indiscipline at the breakdown.
The visitors looked certain to come away with some points around the 59th minute, camped near the five metre line with a series of scrums and drives but the Cardiff defence was in mean mood tonight and they won the relieving penalty. That was a deciding moment. Carbery had a clearance blocked down and Anscombe belted the penalty between the posts to make it 27-13. Another Cardiff penalty, for offside in midfield, increased the lead to 30-13 with ten minutes remaining.
They started in style and they finished in style. The Blues sensed a winning bonus point and they stepped up their effort in the last three minutes with Tomos Williams getting his second try of the game and Anscombe kicking the conversion on a night that surely triggered a few Hymns and Arias in the Cardiff pubs tonight.
Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe, Blaine Scully, Willis Halaholo, Rey Lee-Lo, Jason Harries; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Nick Williams.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carre, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan
Munster: JJ Hanrahan; Andrew Conway, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack Stafford, Bill Johnston, Shane Daly.

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