Laulala adds Kiwi polish to rough and ready Blues

Cardiff Blues 18 Edinburgh 17

The Cardiff Blues once again reliedon their Kiwi influence to pull out a victory when it mattered in Europe, as they staggered home by a single point in their first match of this season's Heineken Cup.

The centre Casey Laulala was an inspiration for the Blues on their way to lifting the Amlin Challenge Cup last May and he was the difference again yesterday. The former All Black used all his craft and guile to create one try and score another and nudge the Blues across the finishing line. He saved them from a defeat that could have seriously damaged their hopes of reaching next year's final, which will be held less than a mile down the road at the Millennium Stadium in May.

The Blues' coach, Dai Young, said: "We didn't play as well as we'd like but Edinburgh always cause us problems. They matched our physicality and were always dangerous with ball in hand. But most of their breakaways and line breaks were caused by our inaccuracies."

Young has shown good sense on the transfer market, not only in bringing in Laulala but in holding on to the No 8 Xavier Rush, who combined with his fellow countryman for the second try. However, Young's major signing of the summer, the Scotland fly-half Dan Parks, had a rare off-day, missing six kicks. The Blues also lost Gethin Jenkins and Tom Shanklin to injury.

Edinburgh's coach, Rob Moffat, said: "We weren't far away. But it's not enough to be good losers. We made some basic errors which stopped us building pressure and we gave away two or three daft penalties in the first half. We were lucky that Dan Parks missed them. At least we picked up a losing bonus point that could prove vital because this group is going to be tight."

Edinburgh's Chris Paterson kicked a penalty inside three minutes, before Parks missed his first three. Edinburgh's forwards thrived on the back of effective kicking from Mike and David Blair and the backs were willing, Tim Visser being denied by a tackle from Rush.

A kick to the corner by Mike Blair led to Edinburgh scoring the first try on 23 minutes. The Blues made a mess of the line-out under pressure and Blair, the scrum-half, was quickest to the loose ball. The prop Allan Jacobsen followed up to score his second Heineken Cup try.

Edinburgh looked comfortable, but they could not get to grips with the Blues' wing Leigh Halfpenny, who almost hit back from the restart. He caused panic whenever he got the ball in his hands and only an intervention from Mike Blair, a faint but telling ankle-tap, saved a try. Jacobsen was fortunate to get away with pulling Halfpenny's shirt as he chased a kick. The Edinburgh prop should have known better, having seen Paterson being shown the yellow card for not releasing the openside Martyn Williams as the Blues pressed.

Parks hit the mark with his fourth penalty attempt and the Blues then made their advantage count a minute before Paterson returned. Laulala stepped past David Blair before releasing a pass to Paul Tito. The captain, another New Zealander, shipped the ball to Chris Czekaj and Edinburgh ran out of defenders. Parks converted and kicked a penalty before Blair missed a drop-goal to leave Edinburgh trailing 13-10 at half-time.

The second half was uneventful before the final 11 minutes, when Laulala and then Edinburgh's Ben Cairns went over.

Cardiff Blues B Blair; L Halfpenny, C Laulala, T Shanklin (D Hewitt, 58), C Czekaj; D Parks, R Rees; G Jenkins (J Yapp, 52), T Thomas, T Filise, B Davies, P Tito (capt; D Jones, 62), M Molitika, X Rush, M Williams.

Edinburgh C Paterson; J Thompson, B Cairns, A Grove (J King, 55), T Visser; D Blair, M Blair (M Robertson, 78); A Jacobsen, R Ford (K Traynor, 78), G Cross (A Kelly, 62), S MacLeod (C Hamilton, 62), F McKenzie, A MacDonald (N Talei, 62), R Grant (capt), R Rennie.

Referee R Poite (France).

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum