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Hewitt adds gloss as Blues cruise past Aironi

Guinness PRO12 Editor 24 Nov 2011

Dafydd Hewitt celebrated his 50th league appearance for Cardiff Blues with a fine breakaway try to help his side cruise to a 38-0 RaboDirectPRO12 victory over woeful Aironi.

The Blues had to rely on the trusty boot of Dan Parks in a lacklustre first half but the floodgates opened after the break as replacement Casey Laulala, Hewitt, Tom James and Marc Breeze all went over to secure the bonus point.

The only downside for the Blues was a neck injury sustained by full-back Chris Czekaj, who was forced off just before the half-time break, as Cardiff Blues coaches Gareth Baber and Justin Burnell saw an already lengthy injury list added to.

The deadlock was broken after just three minutes when Parks, instrumental in the Heineken Cup victory over London Irish last time out, knocked over the first of his four first-half penalties.

But Baber and Burnell would not have been happy at the break – the Blues too wasteful in possession and unable to carve out any clear-cut opportunities when in Aironi territory.

But when Aironi’s Samoan centre Sinoti Sinoti was sin binned for an illegal tackle on 43 minutes, the Blues immediately capitalised and after the forwards fell just short of the try-line on the left, a move to the right saw New Zealander Laulala go over for his third try of the season.

Parks missed the relatively easy conversion and that stirred the Italians, who ought to have notched two penalties of their own before Sinoti’s return – but for the wayward boot of Naas Olivier.

And Olivier was swiftly punished when Hewitt’s incisive break lit up a match threatening to peter out on 59 minutes before James followed suit soon after with Aironi still shellshocked.

Parks notched both conversions to take his tally to 18 before being replaced by Ceri Sweeney, whose first involvement in the game was to convert fellow replacement Breeze’s pushover try.

Desperate to ensure they did not return home with nothing, Aironi laid siege to the Blues’ try-line in the closing stages but Cardiff stood resolute and moved into third in the table while their Italian visitors remain rooted to the bottom.