Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Blues end losing streak

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Cardiff Blues ended a three-match losing streak as they secured a 37-26 bonus-point victory in their RaboDirect Pro12 clash against Aironi.

The Welsh side led 20-11 at the break thanks to tries from Dafydd Hewitt and Chris Czekaj and 10 points from Ceri Sweeney's boot.

Wing Sinoti Sinoti had crossed early on for the hosts, with Naas Olivier kicking two penalties, and they added second-half scores from Nick Williams (two) and Gilberto Pavan to earn a bonus point of their own.

But the Blues made the win safe with Czekaj's second try and a Xavier Rush score securing the five points, Sweeney adding the conversions and a penalty for a personal 17-point haul.

Leinster produced an assured second-half display as they came from 12 points down to defeat Connacht 30-20 at the RDS.

Ray Ofisa and Brian Tuohy both scored converted tries in the run-up to half-time to fire the underdogs into a deserved 20-8 lead after Devin Toner had crossed first for the hosts.

With Johnny O'Connor hurtling into tackles and Niall O'Connor a steadying presence, Connacht were on course for their first away win over Leinster since September 2002. But just as they did against Aironi seven days ago, Leinster managed to turn things around after the break.

A succession of penalties from Isa Nacewa and Luke Fitzgerald's 65th-minute try edged the hosts ahead, and a last-minute drop-goal from Ian Madigan even took the losing bonus point away from Connacht.

Ospreys extended their lead at the top of the table ahead of a three-week break in league action with a narrow 17-13 victory over fellow high-flyers Munster.

Rhys Webb's breakaway try in the 56th minute was the decisive part of this nail-biting win, as Munster lost a league tie at Thomond Park for the first time since April 2010.

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