Roberts returns with a try as Cardiff win
September 22, 2012
Jamie Roberts scored a try on his first start since he had surgery on his knee, as Cardiff beat Treviso
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Jamie Roberts scored a try on his first start since undergoing knee surgery as Cardiff Blues ran in four tries on their way to beating Benetton Treviso 34-18.
The centre scored Cardiff's second try of the match after fullback Dan Fish has crossed the line in the 12th minute. Jason Tovey and Campese Ma'afu touched down after half-time, while fly-half Rhys Patchell converted all four tries and kicked a brace of penalties. Treviso scored two tries through Italy international Robert Barbieri and Kris Burton added eight points with the boot.
Teenage fly-half Patchell got Cardiff under way with a penalty in the 10th minute to give the Blues a three-point lead. Better was to follow in the 12th minute when full-back Fish held on to a pass from under-pressure scrum-half Lloyd Williams. Fish attacked near the edge of the ruck and the Treviso defence parted for him to score Patchell converted to make the score a healthy 10-0.
Treviso finally woke up with outside-half Kristopher Burton nearly putting replacement right-wing Luca Morisi in with a cross-kick. Blues had offended at the maul which preceded it and Burton punished them to pull back three points.Their big pack was starting to rumble with a powerful surge from lock Dean Budd nearly resulting in a try.
A quickly-taken tap-penalty by Williams might have brought Blues a second touchdown but centre Gavin Evans failed to find Wales wing Alex Cuthbert with what should have been a scoring pass.
Patchell was wide with a long-range penalty attempt in the 28th minute as they reasserted themselves after weathering the pressure from Treviso. Cuthbert was denied a try by a forward pass from Fish, the former's dive in at the corner being in vain. But Roberts bulldozed his way through three tackles to score between the uprights for Patchell to convert and stretch Blues' advantage to 14 points.
Cardiff's defensive resolve was tested on the stroke of half-time by a driving line-out from Treviso but they kept them out to head off for the interval with a 17-3 advantage. Patchell added another three points early in the second half and they looked to turn the screw with Fish finding touch deep in the Treviso 22.
Treviso should have scored when winger Giulio Toniolatti picked off a pass from Roberts but Patchell caught him following a 65-metre pursuit. And Williams managed to hold up Treviso scrum-half Tobias Botes over the Blues' try-line as the Italians hunted for a score to bring them back into the game. Flanker Alessandro Zanni was denied a try by Blues prop Nathan Trevett but number eight Robert Barbieri proved unstoppable when he charged off the back of a close-range scrum.
Burton converted and landed a penalty in the 67th minute to reduce Treviso's arrears to seven points. But Blues replacement Jason Tovey seized on a Treviso mistake to break away, Patchell converting to make it 27-10.
Home skipper Bradley Davies was sin-binned for illegally pulling a maul down and Barbieri plunged over for his second of the night for Treviso seconds later. However, Burton failed to convert and then the visitors were hit from close range by Ma'afu at the end.
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