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Monday, April 13, 2009

Cardiff Blues edge out Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium

Cardiff Blues edge out Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium

Kiwi Ben Blair booted Toulouse out of the Heineken Cup with his three penalties that ultimately proved the difference in this tight quarter final match in Cardiff. The incredible defensive effort of the Blues though was what ultimately produced the 9-6 victory.

The loss for Toulouse, last seasons runners up, means that there will be no French semi-final representation for only the second time in the Heineken Cups 14-year history.

The Blues are now a transformed side from that who received a 41-17 hiding from the same opposition last year. They kept their composure to hang on for the win in this thrilling, yet low scoring match.

"Everyone has been giving the extra yard and this result against Toulouse just shows the hard work that is going in," said big Blues center Jamie Roberts.

"All the boys were out on their feet, which showed the effort everyone put in.

"It was a mighty defensive effort, especially during the last 20 minutes. I just kept looking at the clock, every minute it seemed, just waiting for it to end.

"It was like a Test match - extremely physical, very quick and very hard on the body.

"And it was very special. The fans were fantastic and I think they pulled us through that last 20 minutes."

The Welsh side will meet Leicester early next month, also at the Millennium Stadium, to see who goes through to meet either Munster or Leinster in the final at Murrayfield.


Time: 08:13

Posted at 3:12 pm | 57 comments

Viewing 57 comments

Yaoi April 13, 2009 2:03 pm

The blues deserved it but this is munsters year again unfortunately.

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 2:12 pm

completely agree with yaoi.Munster will rip apart any team in the world at the moment.

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 2:29 pm

blues deserved it because of their defense, great performances from rush or james.toulouse did well sometimes but seemed to be tired.i also think that their try was IN! If u look well dusautoir didn' touch it, it bounces back on a blue leggod save chris white should we say :)

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 2:30 pm

Because of toulouse defeat, Munster will defintly win it!

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julien April 13, 2009 2:34 pm

deserved????a bunch of kicks from the half way line don't make you deserve a win when you deny a try by playing on the ground to make it look like a knock on 2 m from your line. A few tricks from M williams, who played it cleverly enough to avoid a well deserved yellow card also helped...

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opfazonk April 13, 2009 2:34 pm

atleast they'll rip apart any team in the NH...but anyway, toulouse didn't desverve to win the game with their backline playing like drunken sailors for the first 60 minutes...

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 2:45 pm

A team who don't play can't deserved to win...

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Why the fuck the ref hasn't given the try ???

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 4:07 pm

Hell of a performance from cardiff.

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piaruskov April 13, 2009 4:27 pm

I don't think cardiff will go any further than the semis. The Toulouse backs weren't inspired I thought or not focused or whatever, never able to go all the way. IMO Michalak has something to do with this. Defense from cardiff was ok but I thought it was their only decent production. Oh yeah, and fuck chris white

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 4:41 pm

i think the video ref needs a pair of good glasses

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 5:40 pm

Cardiff didn't do anything during the game, the game was played almost all the time in the Blues's part. But they played with intelligence, taking all the scarce opportunities they had to score points. But we can't say they deserved the victory!Also the referee forgot his glasses in his other short for the dussautoir's try, there wasn't any problem with it. Now Munster will crush anybody.

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Boz April 13, 2009 5:49 pm

I never rated Ben Blair very highly. Good on him though. I think Munster will lose. I don't get H. Cup here but as a sports fan, whenever people unanimously agree that one team will win it all, they inevitably lose.

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H-cupper April 13, 2009 6:12 pm

who was the TMO !!?Despite it was a skysport and "biased" camera,everybody in the stadium could see it was try;

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 6:38 pm

Despite Toulouse playing not at their optimal level and Cardiff defending quite well, Toulouse's try should've been accepted (just saw different camera angles on TV and it's pretty obvious it's a 'blue' hand that pushes it backwards, albeit not illegally for it seems to be from a guy on his feet (a second-rower if I'm not mistaken). Cardiff were sometimes not penalised when they were in Toulouse's half whereas Toulouse were always penalised, but that's rugby and different interpretations of the rules. Also, Chris White's wife if Welsh and he supposedly lives in Cardiff. Way to go ERC. Don't know where the game would've gone if the try had been accepted, Cardiff would probably have won through their determination and Toulouse's poor attempts, but this match will be yet another one to spark the "Are French clubs being unfairly refereed?" debate.

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 7:31 pm

YEEEEEEEEES BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Nico April 13, 2009 7:49 pm

What a game.... Not even sure that I'd say "Well done Blues": yes, the folks put on a semi-decent fight against an uninspired Toulouse side. And what's it all about the pathetic theatrics to influence Chris White in the rucks???? Appalling referee anyway with a blatantly valid try. A game to forget, looking forward to next year and good luck Munster for this year.Thanks, though RD, for outlines. Always good to see.

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Ben April 13, 2009 7:50 pm

thanks to blues and chris whiteEngland win the 7th qualification place for H-CUP 2010ERC, what else?

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stephen April 13, 2009 8:22 pm

comon munster!!!

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Jochen April 13, 2009 8:41 pm

I dont know why people think the ref lost Toulouse the game. Disapointing display of Toulouse, the Ref is not responsible for not scoring.Well Brive: 27 not French players, already bought Riki Flutey. Palmer, Haskell, Lobbe heading as well to France, interest in Wilkinson from different clubs, not knowing how much Southern Hemisphere players as well already signed from French clubs. When French rugby doesnt have a problem, why then the salary cap. Dont get me wrong, I like French rugby, but you cant deny the facts or blame a ref

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 8:51 pm

As usually french teams are helped by referees... And now Leicester will kick Cardiff ass, then Munster will win!Well planned british, as usually...Thanks Mr. White again!

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Cheis April 13, 2009 8:55 pm

toulouse shouldve wonwas a try

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Dalma April 13, 2009 8:56 pm

"i think the video ref needs a pair of good glasses"I think that we don't need video refs. Money spent for nothing...

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Tiny Tim April 13, 2009 8:58 pm

That picture of Halfpenny offloading is great...I like that Welsh wingers show that little guys can still play good rugby.

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Ben April 13, 2009 9:04 pm

Jochenthe pourcentage of foreign players in top 14 is equivalent with guinness premiership, so it's not the pointU present the example of Brive (toulon is an other one) and i agree with u, some young players should have their chance.furthermore, a salary cap for top14 will be created, but i don't think money is the only reason.Can u imagine that some english/british players want to discover an other rugby, with passes, risks & runs and no rolling "munster" mauls..?The truth is that french rugby is in reconstruction since RWC 2007, looking for "slim fast" calendars, searching for new leaders, Toulouse have some!but infortunately, this saturday match let a bitter taste that "rugby is british, played by british and referred by the same ones" French clubs and national just can count on their only talents but talents are tired

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Anonymous April 13, 2009 9:06 pm

@ JochenWell, yes the ref is responsible for not scoring when he refuse a blatant valid try for Toulouse...and for the thing about french clubs being composed essentially of foreign players, man that's just a pure fantasm : there is the same percentage of foreign players in top14 and in Gpremiership. Don't think that all french clubs are like toulon or brive.

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Matt April 13, 2009 10:43 pm

Tiny tim yep its an awesome pic:)but does anyone else think that halfpenny is the perfect shape for a winger?you look back to the old days and i dont remember many wingers over 6 ft 2 and 16 stone.Their the fastest on the pitch and usually the most agile. thats a position suited for a 14 stone lean man, rather than a tuilagi size?anyone else agree?

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Tiny Tim April 13, 2009 11:05 pm

Yeah, Matt, I would agree...but I do think that Tuilagi certainly has a place as a winger.....like how no one could stop Lomu when he was on the wing.

It just depends on the style your team plays; Halfpenny and Williams work for Wales.

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 1:40 am

The perfect winger is Doug Howlett. I would put him down as the greatest winger of all time, hes got the complete game

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Cheis April 14, 2009 2:24 am

though bad hair

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stand off April 14, 2009 3:57 am

Nico and anonymous said - a blatantly valid try for Toulouse...

If it was "blatantly valid" the ref wouldn't have gone to the TMO, and if it was "blatantly valid" both the commentators and the TMO wouldn't have said it was knocked on. Get over it.

If one of these teams was good enough to score a clear try through one of the many ways possible in rugby then they would've deserved to win. Otherwise you just have to accept the lottery of relying on penalties.

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 4:03 am

There isn't any ONE perfect winger, though Doug Howlett is a badass.

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piaruskov April 14, 2009 7:37 am

Don't get me wrong here, I don't think Chris Fucking White was the only reason Toulouse lost this game, I just think that his refereeing was unfair. It took Cardiff an hour to step into Toulouse's 22, the rest of the game was pretty much played in the Blues half. Now I can accept the fact that Cardiff might be very disciplined and all but come on, 2 penalties? WTF? With a dominating Toulouse in the rucks? With a Martin Dickhead Williams always offside, always fucking with the scrum-half? There were about a dozen occasions when White let Cardiff go while he had whistled for Toulouse.
After, Biarritz, Perpignan, Clermont, Stade Franais (wait, I'm not sorry for them), H Cup really begins to piss me off

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Flooz April 14, 2009 7:58 am

OK...

So the try was valid

after Tincu Affair, the 10 minutes of prolongation during Quins vs SF, bonus points refused to perpignan, and biarritz, and many ones...French teams continue to be robbed

anyway, toulouse had to kill the game before let chris white kill them

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T. April 14, 2009 11:46 am

Medard & Rush players of the match

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 12:41 pm

i hate martyn williams. the most disgusting kind of player on a rugby pitch, pure cheater. And the worse thing is that refs never penalise him...

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 1:28 pm

Why the try was disallowed simple:
read below
Date: Saturday, April 11
Venue: Millennium Stadium
Kick-off: 15.30 BST
Referee: Chris White (England)
Touch judges: Roy Maybank (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
Assessor: Brian Stirling (Ireland)
Television match official: Huw Lewis (Wales)
Television match official: Huw Lewis (Wales)

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 1:38 pm

i love martyn williams he has every skill in the game. It sounds as if the French are not enjoying the Heineken cup this year.
With the Toulose try, i believe there was doubt in the TMOs mind so he couldnt give it. Cardiff are great at winning tight games this year, Probably because they dont give away many penalties and their defence is great :)

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 1:39 pm

For the people who said that Dusautoir should have been awarded the try, look again.

Martyn is on his feet and tries to play the ball back (though it may go forward). Dusautoir pushes the ball forward and then dives on it. Knock on.

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david April 14, 2009 1:52 pm

Toulouse was not in a great day, that's for sure. A lot of turnovers, knock-ons and a few wrong decisions in the blues 22.
That could be sufficient to explain the defeat. But I said COULD....

Mr White clearly has his share of responsability on that game.
Cardiff has not been penalized in the same way Toulouse was in its own half of the pitch.
A ref can make some wrong decision, or can have his own interpretation of the rules. Fair enough.
However, when the rules are not applied in the same way for both side...

Williams should have been sin-binned when he on purposed contested the ball in a very important ruck in its own 22 that could have lead to a potential try position for the toulouse backs (5 against 3 on the open side)...

A big round of applause to the ERC!
Well done guys.... After Clermont Stade Francais, this is just another example of how circumstances go wrong against the French clubs.
Apparently, the Video Ref was also changed last minute and replaced by a Welsh ref.... clap clap clap...
Special Thanks to Heinneken as well....
The French law is very tough against Cigarettes & alcohol producer, hence any advertising is forbidden in France (TV included).
That's why the competition is called the H-CUP in France instead of Heinneken
Cup everywhere else, that's why they can't use their logos on all the billboards, wallpapers in ITW rooms, flags etc etc....
Having a French team involved is a pain in the ass for Heinneken. Their return on investment is too low. We don't see the Brand enough. Just look at the videos on this website, you'll see the difference between the Leicester/bath Game & the Toulouse/Cardiff game. Even the flags on the side lines are different in some cases!
Why, in 12 years history, NO FINAL has ever been hosted in France?
Money rules.....
They should just think about what would the competition look like without the French clubs?

But you also have to acknowledge that the Welsh & Irish rugby has more than significantly improved over the past years. Well done to them.
The fact that the Magners league is sooooooo weak is also another reason explaining why these teams are performing well in the H-Cup.
The European Cup is their real challenge and they only prepare for these bug games.

Having a super league in England (including the Irish & welsh teams) could be a solution. Then the irish & welsh teams would have to fight on 2 competitions as well to avoid relegation.

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Anonymous April 14, 2009 6:34 pm

And the TMO was welsh... that's fukin incredible...nothing more to explain

for the anonymous telling that dusautoir push the ball forward, man you need glasses. the ball is pushed by xavier rush with the hand and bounces on a welsh boot, then dusautoir dives on it and put the try. that's very clear when you look carefully. but the welsh tmo saw what he wished

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Jochen April 14, 2009 8:27 pm

"the 10 minutes of prolongation during Quins vs SF"

Well I have seen this video on youtube and have to say, no break in between, so nothing wrong with the overtime.

I am as well referee and if I am refereeing or touchjudging my own team, they have to be more careful than other teams. And no matter from which team/country someone is, as match official you have to be neutral.

So I wouldnt blame the match officials. Why wasnt Toulouse able to make the important line breaks and score a clear try?

Dont get me wrong, I like French rugby, but to blame the refs, wrong way.

Looking forward for the Paris - Montpellier game, next weekend ;-)

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brian April 14, 2009 8:59 pm

Gosh!

The TMO was welsh!!!?
that's fu... incredible...

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Top April 14, 2009 10:33 pm

The Toulouse backs are awful cocky bastards, except Medard.

They could of won if they'd just play the damn game...

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 1:22 am

I think it's pretty clear the refs were biased (Chirs White's wife is Welsh). The video ref was english too. It's the same fuckin country, as they are all british. Damn, when French and british clubs play against each other, bring in Italian or Irish refs.

That Dusautoir's try WAS VALIDE. The video ref should have asked for a frame to frame footage, as slow motion does not allow you to see clearly. He made a very bad call here.

And it's a damn shame that a weak side such as Cardiff move on to the semis, and Toulouse, best side in Europe with Munster atm, is eliminated.

It reminds me of the France-AB quarter final in 2007... although I am French, I felt very sorry that the best team didn't move on to the semis because of a bad ref.

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 1:33 am

fuck....

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 2:48 am

Jochen

I agree with you that French rugby is in a bit of a crisis that needs solving with the long season and overload of foreigners, but Toulouse is one of the few teams who aren't contributing this. Apart from a few genuinely awesome imports (Albacete, Kelleher ect), their team is mostly made up of local French talent and they've been able to do amazing things with it. The problem for Toulouse was always going to be balancing competing for the HC and competing for the Top 14, desperately trying to keep their players fit. Congradulations to Cardiff either way but I really hope Munster win the cup as they're my 2nd team behind Toulouse (Clermont are my 3rd, too bad they never escape their pool because they're always drawn with Munster!)

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 11:39 am

does it seem to anyone else that the french are a bit bitter. yes martyn williams should have been binned but i think chris white for once had a very good game.

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 12:21 pm

Igniominious win.
Disgusting rugby.
Rugby is not often bad refered, but when it is, it just makes me sick.
Unthinkable that the video ref was Welsh !!! Is that fuking fair ?
How many penalties not whistled against Cardiff ? (especially from Williams)
What about the perfectly valid try not awarded ?
Shit.

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 1:38 pm

does anyone believes that medard is about to become an awesome player ? Player of the 6 nations 2010 ?

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Anonymous April 15, 2009 3:17 pm

Medard is already awesome !

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Julien April 15, 2009 4:40 pm

I am french and I found this game pretty boring, Toulouse wasn't sharp and clinical enough otherwise they would have brushed Cardiff aside and in this very balanced game they ended up on the wrong side of some refereing decisions, which made the difference.

What matters to me is that neither Toulouse or Cardiff could have won it this year. Cardiff has too many limitations and Toulouse doesn't have that edge anymore, although the talent is there... I hope this year's disaster in the Hcup will lead french rugby officials to lighten the burden on french players, by going from a TOP 14 to a TOP12 at least...

Clearly Munster is the overwhelming favorite now..

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David April 16, 2009 8:55 am

Munster has a too easy life! They only prepare for the Heineken Cup games!
The Celtic league games are just a walk in the park for them...

When Munster actually plays only 6 tough games (with all due respect to the other Irish & Welsh provinces) before the quarter finals, how many did Toulouse or Bath or Paris played with their tough national competitions?

What I find really sad, is that in 3 of these 4 quarter finals the team that actually produced more game has lost (Bath, Toulouse, Harlequins)
Kick the ball away, have a strong defense & wait for the ref to penalize the attacking team....
That was, in brief, the winning strategy.
Sad for the game....
You don't see such things in the Super 14

Munster is clearly stronger than the other semi-finalists

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Anonymous April 16, 2009 8:37 pm

Modern rugby is sad...

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Anonymous April 17, 2009 5:28 am

Remember Heineken Cup 2008 final: 30 minuts of pick and go ...

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Luke April 17, 2009 8:47 pm

God damn I'm sick of people being bitter.

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