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Rugby Calvisano return to the European Rugby Challenge Cup for the first time since 2015/16 with a home game in Pool 5 against two-times winners Cardiff Blues.
The Italian side’s last game in the competition saw them suffer their heaviest defeat in it – 74-6 to the Blues.
- Cardiff have faced Calvisano twice before in the competition and won both matches in 2015/16 by margins of more than 40 points.
- The Blues have won their last six Challenge Cup ties, with their most recent victory being the 2018 final against Gloucester Rugby, which they edged 31-30.
- Calvisano conceded just 9.3 turnovers per game the last season they qualified for the Challenge Cup, fewer than any other side in 2015/16.
“It’s important that we play well in this Challenge Cup campaign, and we know what success tastes like in this competition, particularly in Bilbao, and we’re hungry for more." says @JoshTurn6ull pic.twitter.com/ScR4u4iQ47
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) November 13, 2019
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Cardiff Blues bagged a bonus-point win in north-west Italy over Rugby Calvisano to kickstart their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign in handsome fashion.
Blues, winners of this trophy in 2018, have now won their last seven games in the competition and will head into next Saturday’s clash against Leicester Tigers at the Arms Park in buoyant mood.
Full-back Matthew Morgan opened the scoring after five minutes after collecting his own chip behind the hosts’ defence. Jarrod Evans added the extras then a penalty to extend the visitors’ lead.
Rugby Calvisano clawed their way back though with a penalty then a slick try touched down by Giacomo De Santis after a flash of inspiration by Samu Vunisa had opened up the Welsh side’s defence, Paolo Pescetto converting.
Cardiff re-established the lead through Seb Davies charging over in the corner and Evans was again successful with a tricky conversion. The visitors clung on to their 17-10 advantage until half-time despite Kieron Assratti’s yellow card for going off his feet in a ruck.
After the break, two Pescetto penalties reduced arrears to just a point with 15 minutes to go, but Cardiff soon took charge again. Assiratti was tackled just short of the line, but Botham was found out wide on the overlap to touch down, with Evans adding the extras.
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) November 16, 2019
Two minutes later and the bonus point was bagged when centre Rey Lee-Lo ran from long distance to flop over the try line, then Harri Millard added a fifth try right on the whistle, with Evans making it a full complement of conversions.