Blues profit as Shingler is shown red

Cardiff Blues 24 London Irish 18

The penny really should have dropped with the players of London Irish last night, especially as Sam Warburton, famously sent off during last month's World Cup semi-final between Wales and France for driving a rival beyond the horizontal in a tackle and landing him smack on his back, was there on the field to serve as a reminder.

So what did Steve Shingler, the young Exiles centre, do midway through the first half? Why, he drove his opposite number Dafydd Hewitt beyond the horizontal and landed him smack on his back. The result? You guessed it.

Shingler knew he would be shown a red card, just as the Wales captain received one in Auckland, and off he trudged, leaving his colleagues, already off their game and under the hammer, in a heap of trouble.

Barely able to cope with Lloyd Williams' razor-sharp work at scrum-half and Casey Laulala's off-loading game in midfield during the 19 minutes they spent with a full complement of personnel, the visitors were hardly likely to keep their tormentors quiet after going a man down.

Yet strange to relate, the accurate Tom Homer kept London Irish in the contest by banging over penalties from a variety of angles and ranges. Even after Williams took advantage of some excellent restart work from Michael Paterson to zip away from Nick Kennedy on an arcing run to the line and reduce the Premiership club's chances of avoiding a second successive European defeat to something resembling zero, they hung in there by hook or by crook.

Denied the services of two injured international backs in Leigh Halfpenny and Jamie Roberts, the Blues still sought to play with ball in hand and showed no little adventure in ensuring that their powerful wings, Alex Cuthbert and Tom James, were fully involved early on. For all that, their opening try was down to a couple of tight forwards: the lock Paul Tito, who took a clean catch at a close-range line-out, and the hooker Rhys Thomas, who burrowed over from the ensuing maul.

With Dan Parks landing the majority of his early kicks, it looked for all the world as though the Blues would be out of sight by the interval, especially as the Exiles, usually so reliable in contact, were coughing up ball for a pastime. At one point, the diminutive Williams stripped the ball clean away from David Paice, a hardened front-row forward. The look of embarrassment on Paice's face told the tale.

Yet the Blues' technical indiscipline allowed Homer enough shots to keep his side interested – the visitors were also helped by the Blues management's peculiar decision to withdraw both Williams and Casey Laulala before the end of the third quarter – and it was not until Parks kicked a fourth penalty from the left of the sticks with 11 minutes left that the outcome was confirmed.

Even then, Homer had a late say, securing a losing bonus point with a sixth successful kick.

Cardiff Blues: C Czekaj; A Cuthbert, C Laulala (G Evans 59), D Hewitt, T James; D Parks, L Williams (R Rees 59); G Jenkins, R Thomas (M Breeze 71), T Filise (S Andrews 60), B Davies, P Tito (capt), M Paterson, S Warburton, X Rush (M Molitika 21).

London Irish: T Homer; T Ojo, J Ansbro, S Shingler, A Thompstone; D Bowden, R Samson (P Hodgson 60); C Dermody (capt, A Corbisiero 56), D Paice (J Buckland 53), F Rautenbach (P Ion h-t), N Kennedy, M Garvey (J Sandford 61), D Danaher, R Thorpe (J Gibson 53), J Sinclair.

Referee: J Garces (France).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
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

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks