Arias hits high notes as Stade sweep aside the Blues

Cardiff Blues 15 Stade Frany¿ais 38

French champions Stade Francais took another decisive step towards the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as they compounded Welsh misery in this season's tournament.

Cardiff's emphatic defeat was the fifth successive reversal for a Welsh regional team following a four-game European whitewash last weekend.

And it effectively destroyed their hopes of progressing from Pool Six, leaving them a distant nine points behind group leaders Stade.

Cardiff's lineout was an embarrassment throughout the contest - they lost 10 on their own throw before half-time - and Stade predictably prospered.

Pressure is now bound to increase on Cardiff's beleaguered head coach David Young, and a chorus of boos at the final whistle summed up the frustration among a 7,000-strong Arms Park crowd.

Stade never threatened to hit top gear, but they effectively won the game by scoring two tries in five minutes from driven lineouts when Cardiff lock Craig Quinnell was in the sin-bin.

Stade knew a victory in Wales - they had failed on three previous Heineken Cup trips to the Principality - would give them a commanding advantage over Cardiff and group rivals Gloucester and Ulster.

Coach Fabien Galghie made changes following last weekend's win against Gloucester, restoring Italian international Mauro Bergamasco to flanker from centre, handing Raphael Poulin a start on the wing and replacing prop Rodrigo Roncero with Uruguayan World Cup forward Pablo Lemoine.

Cardiff, beaten by Ulster in Belfast a week ago, made one change, preferring scrum-half Richard Smith to Dean Dewdney, although Dewdney made his presence felt by scoring two second-half tries after he went on as a substitute wing.

Cardiff offered glimpses of quality in attack, notably through the adventurous Rhys Williams, but Stade had far too much power up front and composure in key areas.

Fly-half David Skrela, who finished with 15 points, landed a seventh-minute penalty to open the scoring, and although his opposite number Lee Thomas then levelled the scores, Stade ended a disappointing opening period in charge.

Argentinian international Gonzalo Quesada, sent on as a 37th-minute substitute, dropped a goal to edge the visitors in front and then they rocked Cardiff with a stunning solo try four minutes into injury-time.

Wing Julien Arias collected the ball well inside his own half, and duly prospered from a series of shambolic missed Cardiff tackles to sprint away and score in the corner.

Cardiff, despite their badly malfunctioning lineout, gave their supporters a glimmer of hope when Dewdney rounded off a crisp move two minutes after the restart, but Quinnell's yellow card proved significant in the overall equation.

With Quinnell kicking his heels on the touchline, Bergamasco powered over from close range, and before Cardiff could recover, Stade prop Sylvain Marconet touched down for his third Heineken Cup try this season.

A piece of Williams magic created Dewdney's second try, but Stade were not to be denied in their quest for a second successive bonus point victory which gave them a perfect 10 points out of 10.

Skrela booted further penalties in the 71st and 80th minutes, either side of a try for Quesada, who capitalised on a poor Cardiff clearance to touch down near the posts - and Skrela converted.

Stade will now prepare for back-to-back appointments with Ulster when rounds three and four of the Heineken Cup convene in early December, but Cardiff face difficult games against Gloucester, by which time it remains to be seen whether Young will still be in his job.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea