Steve Shingler stars as Cardiff Blues get the better of Edinburgh
Steve Shingler scored 15 points as his Cardiff Blues overcame a shaky start to get their PRO12 campaign off to a 34-16 winning start against Edinburgh.
Shingler and fellow debutant Nick Williams both impressed for Cardiff, who were deserved winners with tries from that pair plus Tomos Williams and a penalty award.
Shingler converted two and kicked two penalties, with Gareth Anscombe adding two conversions.
Edinburgh contested throughout but were clearly second best after the interval. Solomoni Rasolea scored their only try which Duncan Weir converted to add to his three penalties.
A couple of early errors from the Blues gave their opponents a platform in the home 22 from which Edinburgh took the lead with a third-minute penalty from Weir.
The hosts immediately responded with a huge break from Shingler but the outside half's pass went badly astray when a try seemed almost inevitable.
Minutes later, Shingler made amends by throwing a dummy, bemusing the Scottish defence to score a simple try, which he converted before missing a penalty attempt.
The frenetic opening continued with a try for Edinburgh when Rasolea latched onto a Nathan Fowles pass to crash over from close range. Weir converted and added a monster of a penalty to leave the Scots 13-7 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
A couple of powerful runs from Nick Williams put Cardiff on the front foot and a second penalty from Shingler reduced the deficit.
Edinburgh suffered three blows in quick succession. First, No 8 Nasi Manu was helped off with an injury before the visitors conceded a penalty try for dragging down a line-out, which also resulted in Jamie Ritchie collecting a yellow card. Shingler converted the penalty try before Weir missed two difficult penalties, which allowed Blues to retain a 17-13 lead at the interval.
Soon after the restart, Blues hooker, Kirby Myhill, limped off before Ritchie returned in time to see Shingler fire over a long-range penalty but this was nullified by one from Weir.
With the game still in the balance, Blues brought on Anscombe and Gethin Jenkins in place of Shingler and Rhys Gill. The two Wales internationals immediately made an impact, linking cleverly to take Cardiff into the visitors 22 but the hosts conceded a careless penalty to allow the Scots to clear the danger.
After 61 minutes, a try from Nick Williams put clear daylight between the teams before a late try from Tomos Williams saw Blues collect a bonus point and emphasize their superiority.