Six-try Blues bid players farewell

PA Sport
Alex Cuthbert
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Alex Cuthbert

Cardiff Blues bade farewell to a dozen departing players - and possibly to the Cardiff City Stadium - with a 38-13 six-try victory over an Edinburgh side whose focus is on next weekend's Heineken Cup semi-final in Ulster.

The Welsh region are considering a return next season to their old Arms Park home and the sparse 3,580 crowd for the final home game of this campaign can only have added momentum to that idea.

Wales Grand Slam hero Alex Cuthbert, widely expected to join the summer exodus to France, signed off with three tries in a man-of-the-match performance.

At least those who turned up saw an end to a five-match losing streak which had prompted the Blues management to begin searching for a director of rugby to oversee novice coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell.

Despite an early penalty by Edinburgh fly-half Phil Godman, the Blues dominated the first-half territory, their scrum showing much improvement after last week's battering by the high-flying Ospreys.

Two of those leaving this month, New Zealanders Ben Blair and Casey Laulala, made incisive breaks to create the position from which scrum-half Lloyd Williams dived over for their opening try, which Blair converted.

The Scots overthrew a lineout, lost possession and were unable to prevent a try in the corner by Cuthbert. Godman dropped a goal to open the second half, but Edinburgh went down to 14 men when centre John Houston was binned for a high tackle on James.

After typical alertness by flanker Martyn Williams, in the final appearance of an outstanding career, the Blues ran a quick penalty and Cuthbert broke a couple of tentative tackles to reach the flag.

Skipper Bradley Davies' athleticism in the lineout paved the way for 20-year-old No 8 Luke Hamilton to barge over for the bonus-point score, before Cuthbert completed his hat-trick after popping up in the centre.

Edinburgh's replacement fly-half Harry Leonard scored a neat individual try, touching down his own grubber kick, but Blues had the last word with dreadlocked flanker Josh Navidi scoring. Blair added three second-half conversions to round off a comprehensive victory.

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