European Challenge Cup: Calvisano 16-38 Cardiff Blues

By Andrew Richards BBC Sport Wales at the Pata Stadium, Calvisano
Seb Davies stretches over to score for Cardiff Blues against Calvisano
Seb Davies stretches over to score for Cardiff Blues against Calvisano
European Challenge Cup: Calvisano v Cardiff Blues
Calvisano: (10) 16
Try: Balocchi Con: Pescetto Pens: Pescetto 3
Cardiff Blues: (17) 38
Tries: M Morgan, S Davies, Botham, Lee-Lo, Millard Cons: J Evans 5 Pen: J Evans

Two-time European Challenge Cup winners Cardiff Blues began their campaign with a bonus-point win at Calvisano.

The Welsh side led 17-10 at half-time with Matthew Morgan and Seb Davies crossing for the visitors and wing Simone Balocchi for the hosts.

Two Paolo Pescetto penalties brought the Italians to within a point.

But James Botham and Rey Lee-Lo crossed in quick succession to ease Blues' nerves and secure a bonus point, with Harri Millard adding a late fifth try.

Blues have now won their last seven games in this competition after lifting the trophy in 2018 - they played in the top tier Champions Cup last season - having also won the Challenge Cup in 2010.

Leicester Tigers, who face Pau in their Pool 5 opener, will be the visitors at the Arms Park next Saturday.

Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill told BBC Sport Wales: "It's the first time we've won in Italy for 18 months and to take five points back with us is fantastic.

"We weren't good in periods of the first half and probably didn't show them enough respect and probably used the ball a little too much.

"But we gained control at half time and certainly finished off well with three tries in the last 15 minutes."

Calvisano: Van Zyl; Balocchi, De Santis, Mazza, Susio; Pescetto, Consoli; Brugnara, Morelli (capt), Cittadini, Wessels, Van Vuren, Archetti, Casolari, Vunisa.

Replacements: Luccardi, Michelini, Leso, Venditti, Koffi, Semenzato, Chiesa, Panceyra-Garrido.

Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; Harries, Lee-Lo, Haloholo, Millard; J Evans, L Jones; Thyer, Myhill, Assiratti, Turnbull (capt), Cook, Lewis-Hughes, Botham, S Davies.

Replacements: E Lewis, W Davies-King, Ratti, A Lawrence, L Williams, Fish, B Thomas.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)

Assistant Referees: Adam Leal (England), Phil Watters (England).

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