Belfast Telegraph

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Cardiff begin with convincing win

Cardiff began the RaboDirect Pro12 season with a 38-15 victory over Edinburgh to give new coach Justin Burrell an ideal start.

Edinburgh were well in the game during the first half but Cardiff made their superiority tell in the second half with Sam Hobbs, Andries Pretorius and Tom James adding to Hobbs' first-half try to gain a bonus point.

Ceri Sweeney converted three tries and kicked four penalties.

It was difficult to tell that Cardiff had eight players away at the World Cup, so coherently did they play. Edinburgh were all too obviously missing seven, and the side sent out was a mixture of veterans and young professionals. Nowhere was the difference more obvious than at the tackle where repeatedly Cardiff players made ground.

Edinburgh made a horrible start as young number eight Dave Denton allowed the Cardiff opening kick to bounce forward off his chest where an offside colleague played it. Sweeney steered home the penalty to give Cardiff an early lead.

Twice in the opening 10 minutes flashing Edinburgh attacks featuring Simon Webster and then Tim Visser, who burst on to a wing kick from number 10 Phil Godman, came to nothing due to knock-ons.

Greig Laidlaw kicked a penalty for the hosts after 14 minutes but Cardiff moved up several gears for a move that started with a searing break by centre Gavin Evans and ended with Martyn Williams sending in Hobbs for an unconverted try.

When Edinburgh full-back Jim Thompson burst 50 metres he had no support and all Edinburgh gained was a third Laidlaw penalty. However Cardiff closed the half by again moving to a different level and under-pressure Edinburgh gave away a penalty kicked by Sweeney to let Cardiff move 14-9 ahead.

Cardiff continued to have the better of the second half in its early stages, but a couple of Laidlaw penalties momentarily let Edinburgh take a 15-14 lead. However it lasted only two minutes with Michael Paterson latching on to a loose ball and sending Pretorius in for try which was converted by Sweeney.

In the final 10 minutes Cardiff were in complete control and ran in their final tries as Hobbs and Sweeney both crossed.


From Belfast Telegraph