European Challenge Cup: Pau 21-22 Cardiff Blues

Macauley Cook of Cardiff Blues is tackled by Julien Tomas and Masalosalo Tutaia of Pau
Macauley Cook of Cardiff Blues is tackled by Julien Tomas and Masalosalo Tutaia of Pau
European Challenge Cup: Pau v Cardiff Blues
Pau (14) 21
Tries: Dupichot, Tomas, Dupouy Cons: Fajardo 3 Pens:
Cardiff Blues (6) 22
Tries: Halaholo Cons: Shingler Pens: Shingler 5

Cardiff Blues' European qualification hopes were given a lifeline by the reliable boot of Steven Shingler.

Shingler kicked five penalties, including one with two minutes remaining and scored a conversion as the Blues just avoided defeat.

Pau looked on course to record a first European win of the season when Pierre Dupouy put them back level and Brandon Fajardo added the extras.

Willis Halaholo scored Blues' only try as they remain in contention.

Pau never made life easy for Danny Wilson's side.

Shingler's penalty put Blues ahead, before Paddy Butler charged through Blues territory and found Louis Dupichot who went over in the corner, with Fajardo adding the extras.

Shingler, moved to centre for the contest, reduced the arrears with another penalty, but it was Pau who found the next try, making pressure tell as Julien Thomas drove through, with Fajardo again converting.

Shingler slotted home another penalty as the Blues made tactical adjustments and they then took the advantage when Willis Halaholo showed fine feet and great composure to score in the corner after a Pau error allowed a five metre scrum. Shingler converted.

His reliable boot then made it 19-14 and gave Blues hopes of reaching the next stage, but a powerful drive forward from Pau allowed Pierre Dupouy to cross and Fajardo again added the extras.

Blues looked in desperate trouble then as they trailed 21-19, but Shingler kept his composure to get them out of jail.

Blues head coach Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Wales Sport: "I am first of all pleased and proud of a number of obstacles we faced this week with a growing injury list.

"We patched together and I have to praise the boys for digging in.

"We read the riot act a bit at half time and in the second half did enough to get the win.

"To come to France and get the win is good and we will take that.

"We went more basic in the second half, the shape functioned and we did enough.

"I am pleased, we are still in it and need to beat Bristol next week."

Pau: Charly Malie, Louis Dupichot, Pierre Dupouy, Watisoni Votu, Mosese Ratuvou; Brandon Fajardo, Julien Tomas; Julien Jacquot, Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Malik Hamadache, Masalosalo Tutaia, Daniel Ramsay, Ben Mowen, Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Lucas Rey, Jérémy Hurou, Sylvain Charlet, Baptiste Pesenti, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Taniela Moa Teutau, Marvin Lestremeau, Romain Buros.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Cory Allen, Willis Halaholo, Steven Shingler, Rhun Williams; Nicky Robinson, Tomos Williams; Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees, Tau Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, James Down, Macauley Cook, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Anton Peikrishvili, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Cam Dolan, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Alex Cuthbert.

Referee: Gary Conway

Assistant referees: Mark Patton, Karol Collins (all IRFU)

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