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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas