Cardiff Blues 20 Glasgow Warriors 27: Four talking points

Cardiff Blues 20 Glasgow Warriors 27: Four talking points

Blues
20
Warriors
27

Wales forwards escape injury-free

Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins came through a tough clash against Glasgow Warriors with much-needed game time and should both return to the Wales camp better for the experience. The Wales duo both produced solid performances for Cardiff Blues in their 54- and 60-minute run-outs on Friday night. Jenkins was part of some impressive in the scrum and the loose with Warburton showing his defensive and ball-carrying abilities as the Blues looked on course for a much-needed victory, but their departure and the arrival of experience from the Warriors bench turned the match as the visitors ran in two late tries to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Bench envy

As the Warriors again came from behind for an impressive win, the question is: are there any clubs with a stronger squad than the Warriors? The Irish big three and the Ospreys would certainly argue that they do, but while all five lose key personnel during the autumn internationals and Six Nations windows, the Warriors – as they showed last year – cope best with their blend of experience and youth. With Warburton and Jenkins off the field, the Blues lacked leadership and their scrum weakened once the front-row changes were made as the Warriors grew stronger and more confident of overturning the 17-10 scoreline.

Fever pitch

The Arms Park is currently the only stadium in the Pro12 to boast an artificial playing surface, which not only brings benefits, including stability, to the scrum, but also allows the backs to get the most out of their legs. Rarely do we see low-scoring matches with line-breaks aplenty as spaces open up. As with the first of the Heineken Cup clashes between the two sides in December, the second half was, at times, electric. As Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, Rodney Parade in Newport and Ravenhill in Belfast have all failed to host matches because of excess water in recent weeks, it is only a matter of time before other clubs find the £500,000 to invest in the new surface – if not in time for the 2014-15 season, certainly for 2015-16.

Record-setting travellers

Despite more than a dozen players away on international duty or injured, the Warriors have managed to maintain a 100 per cent record on the road as
they racked up a very impressive seventh away win in the RaboDirect Pro12 at the Arms Park. With their next outing another trip to south Wales to take on Newport Gwent Dragons if Rodney Parade survives the elements, few would bet against Townsend’s men extending that run before their biggest test as they travel to the RDS to take on Leinster at the end of the month.

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