Blues shock Newcastle
Cardiff Blues shocked Newcastle Falcons with a 22-21 LV= Cup win at Kingston Park on Friday night.
Newcastle missed two penalties in the last five minutes to win it but a young Cardiff Blues side fully deserved their win after fighting back from a 21-7 deficit at half-time.
With one eye on a return to Premiership action next weekend, the Falcons made 10 changes to the side that lost at Northampton in the cup last week and they were 21-7 up by half time with tries from Adam Powell, Ruki Tipuna and Rob Vickers. Thomas Davies touched down for the visitors.
But the Blues hit back with two tries in 10 minutes after the break through Rhys Williams and Rory Watts-Jones to roar back into the match at 21-19 and then led 22-21 with 22 minutes left when Simon Humberstone, who had earlier added two conversions, kicked a penalty.
Humberstone also missed a golden opportunity two minutes later with a penalty but Newcastle were on the ropes and Cardiff gave as good as they got in the closing quarter before the Falcons forced their way back into the match and re-asserted their dominance up front.
They squeezed a scrum penalty in the 75th minute only for Juan Pablo Socino to miss from 40 metres in front and when referee John Meredith called another penalty against the Blues for not releasing in the tackle, Rory Clegg also missed a chance to win if for Newcastle in the 78th minute.
Newcastle went ahead with Powell's seventh minute try, converted by Socino, after a big forward drive and a bullocking run from Alex Tuilagi which left Powell with an easy finish.
The Blues proved they weren't just there to make up of the numbers when Newcastle made a mess of an attack on their 22 and the ball was hacked downfield, Dan Fish dribbled it on when Socino fumbled the pick up and Harry Davies won't score an easier try this season, Humberstone levelling the score with the conversion in the 12th minute.
Newcastle were back in front when Tipuna darted through from a line-out catch and drive in the 16th minute, Socino converting and when No.8 Watts-Jones was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle, the Falcons should have increased their lead but Socino put the penalty wide.
It was only a temporary reprieve with hooker Rob Vickers driven over after some sustained Newcastle pressure and Socino made it 21-7 with the 29th minute conversion and already it was looking like a long night for the young Blues.
However, when Tipuna was also sinbinned for a dangerous tackle at the start of the second half, Cardiff immediately went to the corner and drove prop Williams over for a try which Humberstone converted for 21-14 and when Socino's attempted clearance was charged down Watts-Jones scored and Cardiff were back in the match at 21-19 in the 50th minute.
Humberstone edged the Blues 22-21 in front with a 58th minute penalty and then he missed that opportunity for some breathing space two minutes later.
But Cardiff gave as good as they got in the closing quarter as Newcastle's gradually came back and squeezed the scrum penalty in the 75th minute only for Socino to miss from 40 metres in front and then Clegg missed a chance from wider out and the chance to win it had gone for Newcastle.