European Challenge Cup: Cardiff Blues 29-19 Lyon
|European Challenge Cup|
|Cardiff Blues (14) 29|
|Tries: Earle, Williams, Cook, Lee-Lo Cons: Evans 3 Pen: Shingler|
|Lyon (0) 19|
|Tries: Bruni, Barassi, Tuva Cons: Dominguez, Pelissie|
Cardiff Blues began their Challenge Cup campaign with a bonus-point win in Pool Two over Lyon at Cardiff Arms Park.
The hosts took a 14-0 lead into the break and never looked likely to surrender their advantage.
George Earle, Tomos Williams, Macauley Cook and Rey Lee-Lo all went over for tries for Danny Wilson's side.
Lyon scored three tries but could not get the bonus point themselves and also lost former England full-back Delon Armitage to a first-half injury.
Blues spurned the first chance to score after referee Frank Murphy lost patience with the Lyon scrum, with Jarrod Evans wide of the mark with a penalty attempt.
However, soon after Earle powered over for the first score after Olly Robinson combined with Alex Cuthbert, with Evans this time making no mistake with the extras.
Blues quickly doubled their advantage with a brilliant try, Garyn Smith and Blaine Scully's break allowing scrum-half Williams to jink over the line before Evans made it 14-0.
The hosts were enjoying great territorial dominance and might have added to the score, but Lyon held firm until the 50th minute when Blues made the game safe thanks to Cook's try.
Lee-Lo, who dropped the ball in the second half to cost himself a try, made amends by securing a bonus-point try for the Blues when he crossed from close range.
That score finally roused Lyon, who scored a try through Virgile Bruni, with Piero Dominguez adding the extras while hooker Kristian Dacey was in the sin-bin, but they never threatened a comeback despite Pierre-Louis Barassi's score and Jonathan Pelissie's conversion late on.
A Steve Shingler penalty completed the scoring for the hosts before Jone Tuva crossed with seconds remaining to briefly give Lyon hopes of their own bonus point.
They could not find a fourth try, however, and Lyon's bad night was compounded with Armitage forced off with a suspected concussion.
Georgian prop Anton Peikrishvili was also forced off with a head injury in the only negative note for the hosts and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Blues coach Danny Wilson told BBC Sport Wales: "We were really dominant in the first half and were probably thinking 'how are we not further ahead?'
"We were pretty dominant, but in the second half it fell away a bit and the tempo went out of the game.
"But it was a pleasing night, backed up by a bonus point win last week against the Dragons.
"It was a positive night and one that we will enjoy."
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Blaine Scully, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Alex Cuthbert; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees (capt), Dillon Lewis, George Earle, Seb Davies, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Josh Turnbull.
Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Anton Peikrishvili, James Down, Josh Navidi, Lewis Jones, Steven Shingler, Aled Summerhill.
Lyon: Delon Armitage; Timilai Rokoduru, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Adrien Seguret, Jone Tuva; Piero Dominguez, Baptiste Couilloud; Tornike Mataradze, Deon Fourie, Richard Choirat, Etienne Oosthuizen, Francois van der Merwe, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Theophile Cotte, Virgile Bruni.
Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, Hamza Kaabèche, Guram Papidze, Josh Bekhuis, Felix Lambey, Theo Belan, Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Jonathan Pelissie.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Ken Imbusch (Ireland)
Citing Commissioner: Paul Hull (England)
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