Departing Warriors Neil Jenkins and Gareth Thomas ensured their side's Heineken Cup survival with a victory over an unlucky Blues outfit at the Brewery Field last night.
Former Cardiff player Jenkins kicked 15 points in his last competitive match in Wales, while Toulouse-bound Thomas scored a controversial second-half try. The lowest-placed Welsh side in the Celtic League lose their Heineken Cup place next season, and the Blues must now hope the Neath-Swansea Ospreys lose their final two games.
The Blues made a perfect start when winger Tom Shanklin dotted down in the second minute. Iestyn Harris added a penalty, but the visitors lost skipper Martyn Williams to the sin-bin for a professional foul after 10 minutes. The home side took advantage and shoved prop Chris Horsman over the line. Jenkins converted.
Warriors full-back Emyr Lewis replaced Williams in the bin and the Blues back line cut loose, winger Craig Morgan scoring a try. Harris and Jenkins traded penalty goals, and the Blues had a 16-10 lead at half time.
Two Jenkins penalties levelled the scores before Warriors centre Sonny Parker scored a try.. Blues full-back Rhys Williams darted over from a quick tap, but Warriors skipper Thomas secured the victory with a blatant double movement. Given that even after the illegal move the ball wasn't on the line, it was a shocking call. The Blues had to be content with a bonus point for finishing within seven points.
Celtic Warriors: Tries C Horsman, S Parker, G Thomas; Penalties N Jenkins 3; Conversions N Jenkins 3. Cardiff Blues: Tries T Shanklin, C Morgan, R Williams; Penalties I Harris 3; Conversion I Harris.
Celtic Warriors: E Lewis; D James, S Parker, G Thomas, G Wyatt; N Jenkins, S Martens; G Jenkins, M Davies, C Horsman, B Cockbain (D Jones 54), R Sidoli, M Molitika (R Parks 81), C Harris, R Bryan.
Cardiff Blues: R Williams; T Shanklin (M Allen 40), J Robinson, I Harris, C Morgan; N Robinson, D Dewdney; J Yapp, R Thomas, B Evans (D Crompton 78), H Senekal (C Quinnell 68), J Brownrigg, D Baugh, N Thomas, M Williams.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)