Game One: Cardiff Blues 12 Asia Pacific Dragons 19
Summer signing George Watkins grabbed a try on debut but it was not enough to stop a battling opening performance end in a narrow 19-12 defeat Asia Pacific Dragons in the World Club 10s in Singapore.
Wing Watkins, a new recruit from Bristol, showed all his lightening pace and finishing skills after less than 30 seconds in a Cardiff Blues jersey as he picked off a pass and tore over from 80 metres out to give the Welsh region a dream start.
But in energy-sapping midday conditions it was the AP Dragons – coached by the legendary Tana Umaga and featuring a number of Fiji Sevens internationals – who held off a spirited Blues second half fight-back to record a narrow win.
Watkins early solo special and conversion from captain Gareth Davies put Blues on the front foot before the AP Dragons – an invitational team showcasing some of the best players from Asia and the Pacific – started to showcase their hard running and deft handling skills.
A grubber kick and quick hands sent Apisalome Waqatabu free to scorch down the right to score before a quick tap penalty and a floated miss pass saw Junior Poluleuligaga touch down for a 12-7 lead.
A bruising encounter, that saw young prospect Seb Davies taken off through injury, forced Blues back and a third try on the stroke of half-time gave the AP Dragons the comfort of a 19-7 half-time lead.
A superb try saving tackle from Macauley Cook stopped AP Dragons from crossing early in the second half before Blues slowly wrestled back control and started to dominate both territory and possession.
A smart grubber kick in behind from Lewis Jones forced AP Dragons to concede a lineout. And from the resulting driving lineout, space was freed up for the returning Owen Williams to crash up close to the line.
A high tackle on Ellis Jenkins allowed Blues to again kick for position before another powerful lineout drive gave Blues the chance to go wide only for a knock on to deny Watkins.
Slick hands from Cook and Josh Navidi saw the latter pulled up just short of the line before an impressive spell finally reaped rewards as Owen Williams powered over in the corner with 30 seconds remaining.
However, Blues could not secure ball in the closing seconds and it was AP Dragons who booted the ball out to claim the win while the Blues were left to take the positives from an encouraging second half comeback.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Owen Williams, Josh Navidi, Rhys Williams, Lewis Jones, Gareth Davies, Dan Fish, George Watking, Ellis Jenkins, Chris Dicomidis, Macauley Cook
Game Two: Cardiff Blues 36 Petrarca Rugby 0
Six-try Cardiff Blues opened their World Club 10s win account in devastating fashion as they blitzed Petrarca Rugby 36-0 with a ruthless display of attacking rugby.
Blues never looked back after an early score from Aled Summerhill and confidently dispatched the Italians to move up the standings in Pool B on the opening day.
Summerhill had shown his pace as early as the opening minute as he darted past two men in a flash but could not find support runner Owen Williams cutting back inside.
Fit-again fly half Rhys Patchell showed his massive boot with a booming kick up field to secure more territory, as Petrarca held on in the tackle. And when the alert Gareth Davies took a quick tap and go he fed Summerhill who darted over for the opening try.
Owen Williams was desperately unlucky not to score a second three minutes later after a cruel bounce denied him when he intelligently kicked into space as the Italians blitzed in defence.
Williams, though, did grab a superb second score just moments later when quick hands from Blues freed up a space down the blindside for the Wales midfielder to breakthrough before winning the foot race to score from halfway.
Richard Smith capped a brilliant opening ten minutes for the Welsh region when neat interplay from Navidi, Humberstone and Cook allowed him to step back inside and power through two tackles to cruise under the posts for a 19-0 half-time lead.
It got even better less than two minutes after the restart as Lloyd Williams shook off a tackle from his opposite number at the scrum and saw the open space in front of him to race in from 30 metres out.
Penalties were now amounting against a visibly drained Petrarca outfit and another quick tap from Davies fed Josh Navidi who handed off two men to score a fifth Cardiff Blues try.
One final penalty, for not releasing, saw Lewis Jones tap and run in under the posts unopposed as Petrarca folded in the heat after a clinical display from Blues.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Gareth Davies, Lewis Jones, Josh Navidi, Owen Williams, Rhys Patchell, Macauley Cook, Chris Dicomdis, Rhys Williams, Aled Summerhill, Ellis Jenkins
Game Three: Cardiff Blues 12 Brumbies 21
Cardiff Blues were left to ponder what might have been as they narrowly lost out for the second time as the Brumbies took a late 21-12 win in the final game of Day One of the World Club 10s in Singapore.
A win would almost certainly secured top spot in Pool B for Blues, but defeat would mean falling to third place and face a harder quarter-final clash on Sunday.
First half tries from Ellis Jenkins and Macauley Cook put them within touching distance of top seeding, but a late try from Jack Whetton handed the victory to the Australian Super 15 side.
The Brumbies started the game on fire and a stunning turn of pace in the opening minute from Jesse Mogg saw him run in from deep inside his own half for a 7-0 lead.
Mogg again threatened with his pace on the left with a last ditch tackle from Patchell preventing him from doubling his account as Blues struggled to gain any possession.
When they did get hold of the ball they struck in devastating fashion with a great team try as Lloyd Williams and Cook combined to send Jenkins free and his delightful dummy sent him over in the corner.
A forward pass denied Brumbies a second try down the left as Blues fought for every ball at the breakdown in what was always likely to be a tightly-fought encounter.
A neat offload sent Lionel Cronje over to extend the Australians lead, but back came Blues once more on the stroke of half-time as Cook stretched over in the corner after Lewis Jones and Gareth Davies led a breakout.
A tense and tight second half ensued with Patchell producing a perfect kick to touch to put Blues close to the Brumbies line. But the Australians repelled the driving lineout and turned over possession.
A cross field kick almost found Brumbies dangerman Mogg in the final two minutes as Blues dug deep knowing one try would swing the game either way. But the score came for Brumbies in the final seconds as Whetton crashed in to mean third spot for Blues.
Cardiff Blues (starting line-up): Gareth Davies, Josh Navidi, Aled Summerhill, Lloyd Williams, Chris Dicomidis, Macauley Cook, Rhys Williams, Ellis Jenkins, Rhys Patchell, Owen Williams
2014 World Club 10s – Day One Results:
1 Sat 21-Jun 10:48 Pool A Auckland Blues 47 Biarritz Olympique 7
2 Sat 21-Jun 11:15 Pool B The Brumbies 12 Petrarca Rugby 0
3 Sat 21-Jun 11:42 Pool A London Welsh 0 Samoa 26
4 Sat 21-Jun 12:09 Pool B Cardiff Blues 12 AP Dragons 19
5 Sat 21-Jun 13:57 Pool A Auckland Blues 19 Samoa 17
6 Sat 21-Jun 14:24 Pool B The Brumbies 22 AP Dragons 17
7 Sat 21-Jun 14:51 Pool A London Welsh 26 Biarritz Olympique 5
8 Sat 21-Jun 15:18 Pool B Cardiff Blues 36 Petrarca Rugby 0
9 Sat 21-Jun 17:03 Pool A Samoa 35 Biarritz Olympique 12
10 Sat 21-Jun 17:30 Pool B AP Dragons 19 Petrarca Rugby 5
11 Sat 21-Jun 17:57 Pool A Auckland Blues 27 London Welsh 7
12 Sat 21-Jun 18:24 Pool B The Brumbies 21 Cardiff Blues 12
P W L D PF PA PD Pts
A1. Auckland Blues 3 3 0 0 93 31 62 9
A2. Samoa 3 2 1 0 78 31 47 7
A3. London Welsh 3 1 2 0 33 58 -25 5
A4. Biarritz Olympique 3 0 3 0 24 107 -84 3
P W L D PF PA PD Pts
B1. The Brumbies 3 3 0 0 55 29 26 9
B2. AP Dragons 3 2 1 0 55 39 16 7
B3. Cardiff Blues 3 1 2 0 60 40 20 5
B4. Petrarca Rugby 3 0 3 0 05 67 -61 3