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Pool-topping Blues gain Sale revenge

Matthew Morgan launches a kick clear at Cardiff Arms Park

Matthew Morgan scored the only try of the game as Cardiff Blues beat Sale Sharks 14-6 to go four points clear at the top of European Challenge Cup Pool 2.

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Sale consigned the Blues to a 24-0 defeat last weekend, but the Pro14 side responded by making it three Challenge Cup wins out of four just a few days after it was confirmed that head coach Danny Wilson will link up with Wasps as forwards coach at the end of the season.

The two sides were locked at 3-3 at the end of a first half played in driving wind and rain at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday, Gareth Anscombe and Will Cliff scoring a penalty apiece.

Morgan came up with the solitary try eight minutes after the break, going over for his fifth try in as many home matches after the Blues got men over on the outside and Sale were unable to keep them at bay.

Anscombe added a further penalty and slotted over another three-pointer six minutes from time after Cliff’s second successful strike from the tee, leaving Sale bottom but only six points behind Cardiff.

 

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William 2 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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