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Cardiff Blues off to European quarter finals

CARDIFF Blues head to Tigers’ ground Welford Road on Saturday brimming with confidence after overcoming Lyon to reach the knockout stages of the European Challenge Cup.

The Blues narrowly defeated Lyon at the Matmut Stadium 21-18 at the weekend as they recorded their fifth Challenge Cup win of six.

Two tries from scrum-halves Lloyd and Tomos Williams, both resulting in extras thanks to Jarrod Evans and the awarding of a penalty try ensured a Blues comeback.

The men in blue were 12-0 down thanks to two first half tries from Lyon’s Dylan Cretin and Pierre-Louis Barassi.

At the stroke of half-time the Blues fly-half Evans produced a stunning break to put Williams in. Evans’ conversion left the Blues just five points behind at the break, with Lyon leading 12-7.

The Blues earned a penalty try after 45 minutes, which equalled the scoring, but two penalties from Lionel Beauxis put the French outfit ahead.

Evans, who was fantastic all afternoon, had another chance to break and making no mistakes put Williams in to score a try, which Evans coolly converted.

The French giants put out a strong squad but the Blues held out a last-minute scrum-five to win the match and earn themselves a trip to Edinburgh in the quarter-finals.

Speaking after the match Evans said: “There was a lot of room to move and challenge defences, that’s the kind of game I like to play.

“It wasn’t an ideal start straight off kick-off and then to go 12-0 down but we dominated territory and had a lot of chances but just didn’t take them.

“At half-time we just said that we weren’t there mentally and in defence they were winning the collisions and our work-rate off the ball could have been better.

“In the second-half we turned up mentally in defence and with the ball. We looked after the ball a bit better and had to defend the driving line-outs and scrums at the end, which shows the resilience of this side.”

This confidence boosts comes as the Blues head to Welford Road on Saturday for an Anglo Welsh Cup fixture against Leicester Tigers.

The Blues currently sit bottom of Pool 1 and are desperately looking for their first win having suffered defeats to Newcastle Falcons and Ospreys in November.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson will be hoping that the Blues can carry over their form from the European Challenge Cup.

Leicester Tigers sit second in Pool 4 after two close matches which resulted in victory against Gloucester in round oneand a loss to Bath in round two.

  • The match will kick off at 3pm at the Tigers ground Welford Road on Saturday January 27
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