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Cardiff Blues top Specsavers Fairplay League

Guinness PRO12 Editor

27 May 2010

Cardiff Blues’ march up the Specsavers Fairplay League over three seasons has seen them scoop the £10,000 top prize for the 2009/10 campaign.

It was some small compensation for the Welsh region who fell just short of a place in the Magners League Play-Offs but went on to lift the European Amlin Challenge Cup last weekend.

The two yellow cards conceded by Edinburgh in the helter-skelter final few minutes of their Round 18 Magners League game against Leinster in Dublin saw them fall from grace at the top of the Specsavers Fairplay League, leaving Blues the outright winners.

For the second season in a row a Welsh region has won the £10,000 grant to spend on a youth development programme. The Scarlets were the top side in 2008/09, with an exemplary three yellow cards for a mere three points, while Munster topped the league in its inaugural season of 2007/08 with seven.

"This is fantastic news for the Blues and the money will help us to enhance our already comprehensive youth programme within our region," said Blues chief executive Rob Norster.

"There are now 65 clubs within the five unitary authorities within the Cardiff Blues region and our home- grown talent includes players of the calibre of British & Irish Lions prop Gethin Jenkins, Wales lock Bradley Davies and new Wales flanker Sam Warburton.

"While we were disappointed to miss out on the Play-Offs, this award gives us something to feel proud of for the season."

Nick King, chairman for Specsavers in Wales, said: "I'm delighted that the Blues have become the second Welsh team in two years to boast exemplary conduct on the pitch. Specsavers' sponsorship of the Magners League is all about supporting the referees, ensuring that they see clearly and maintain the spirit of gamesmanship.

"With the international rugby season just around the corner, we hope that the Blues' achievement highlights the importance of fair play in Welsh rugby and encourages players to keep their conduct clean on-field."

The Specsavers Fairplay League rewards the best disciplinary record, with the team with the fewest disciplinary points (1 point for each yellow card, and 3 points for each red card or upheld citing) at the end of each season winning £10,000 to spend on their youth development programme.

While the Blues topped the league with seven yellow cards, Munster were bottom with 20 points, made up of 17 yellow cards and the only red card in the 90 matches in the regular season.

Specsavers Fairplay League 2009/10

Cardiff Blues 7 0 0 7
Edinburgh 9 0 0 9
Scarlets 8 0 1 11
Glasgow Warriors 12 0 0 12
Newport Gwent Dragons 12 0 0 12
Ulster 12 0 0 12
Leinster 14 0 0 14
Connacht 12 0 1 15
Ospreys 10 0 2 16
Munster 17 1 0 20

YC = Yellow Cards
RD = Red Cards
PC = Proven Citings

note: where teams are tied they are listed alphabetically.