A couple of key moments. One was Owen Farrell’s escapology act in somehow flicking the ball out one handed on his own line with half of Cardiff upon him. The other was the Blues losing possession at the lineout after kicking to the corner off the sin bin.
Gethin Jenkins is “very proud of everything” he has achieved in his career as he prepares to retire from rugby.
The 37-year-old prop, who is also Wales’ record cap holder will call time on his career after Cardiff Blues’ Guiness PRO14 match against Zebre on Sunday.
He made 129 appearances for Wales during a Test career that spanned 14 years, and toured three times with the British and Irish Lions, playing in five Tests.
Announcing his retirement, the Blues said that Jenkins, who made his Wales debut in 2002, has been battling to overcome a chronic knee injury.
He will now take up a coaching role within the Cardiff Blues academy.
Jenkins was part of three Six Nations Grand Slam campaigns with Wales – in 2005, 2008 and 2012 – and is regarded as one of his country’s all-time great players, combining powerful set-piece ability with prolific tackling and breakdown work, in addition to outstanding handling skills.
“I have been working hard rehabbing over the last three months and I was confident I was going to be back playing, so it’s disappointing to be retiring after Sunday’s game against Zebre,” he said.
“It’s obviously a big decision, but I’ve had a good innings, it’s time to finish and I am looking forward to one more run-out on the weekend and hopefully finishing on a high.
“The pain I have been experiencing from rugby, in my daily life, simply isn’t tolerable, but it is important to me that after all the work I have put in, I run out with my team one last time and finish on my own terms.
“I’m very proud of everything I have achieved in my career.
“I have so many memories from over the years and could stay here all day listing them, but the biggest thing I will miss is that camaraderie with the boys, the buzz of running out and playing, and the feeling in the changing rooms after a win.”
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Jenkins has played almost 200 games in two stints with the Blues, while he also spent a season with French club Toulon, and Blues head coach John Mulvihill added: “Gethin Jenkins is a legend of Welsh rugby, a great servant for both club and country.
“After early discussions, it was always my intention to have Gethin decide when he would like to call an end to this playing career.
“He will be a massive loss to us in a playing sense, but his presence as a coach will be a great asset to us going forward.
“After 13 seasons at Cardiff Blues, at the top of his game, this weekend marks the end of an era at the club.”
Jenkins’ 134 Tests for Wales and the Lions sees him lie fourth on international rugby union’a all-time appearance list behind Richie McCaw, Brian O’Driscoll and George Gregan.
His last game for Wales was a win against South Africa at the Principality Stadium two years ago, when Jenkins captained the team.
Blues chairman Peter Thomas said: “Gethin is a player of immense quality and a brilliant leader who sets the standards both on and off the field.
“While it is disappointing that his playing career is coming to an end, we are very pleased that all of his experience and expertise will be retained in the Cardiff Blues family.
“I cannot thank Gethin enough for the enormous contribution he has made, not only to ourselves at Cardiff Blues, but Welsh and world rugby generally.”
It’s been an eventful day in the European Champions Cup. Here is the best of Sunday’s action.
Newcastle 23-20 Montpellier
Newcastle snatched a dramatic 23-20 victory over star-studded Montpellier to go top of their pool in the Champions Cup.
With England head coach Eddie Jones in the stand, Newcastle led 16-6 at half-time and after last weekend’s heroics against Toulouse, the Falcons looked to be heading for another win against a side boasting a dozen internationals led by France number eight Louis Picamoles.
But Ruan Pienaar kicked two crucial penalties and lock Paul Willemse rumbled over for a try to give the visitors a 20-16 lead. But with the clock showing full time, the Falcons mounted one last attack following a penalty to the corner and after a staggering 39 phases, lock Callum Chick was driven over and Joel Hodgson converted for a last-gasp victory which takes Newcastle top of pool five.
Toulouse 28-27 Leinster
Leinster’s impressive unbeaten run in the Heineken Champions Cup shuddered to a dramatic halt as the reigning champions fell to a 28-27 defeat at Pool 1 rivals Toulouse.
After last weekend’s bonus-point victory over Wasps, Leinster – who won all their games on their march to the title last season – started the match at Stade Ernest Wallon as favourites against their fellow four-time European champions.
But an end-to-end game turned on a raking length-of-the-field interception try in the dying minutes.
Replacement Louis-Benoit Madaule picked up a loose pass and released Toulouse’s flying backs division. Moments later, Maxime Medard scored his second try of the afternoon to wrest back a lead the hosts had held until midway through the second half.
Cardiff Blues 12-29 Glasgow
Glasgow opened their Heineken Champions Cup account with a 29-12 bonus point victory over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.
But the real beneficiaries were Pool Three leaders Saracens, who are four points clear of their rivals heading into December home and away fixtures against the Blues.
Glasgow, beaten at home by Saracens last weekend, did not look back after fly-half Adam Hastings and wing DTH van der Merwe scored tries in the first five minutes.
Hastings also added a conversion and penalty before half-time, and when scrum-half Ali Price rounded off a crisp move early in the second period, the only serious debate was whether or not Glasgow would claim a five-point maximum.
Glasgow got there when lock Jonny Gray added a fourth try 12 minutes from time – again converted by Hastings – and there was no doubting their supremacy over a Blues side that fell way short of repeating last Sunday’s performance when they beat Lyon in France.
Wing Aled Summerhill claimed two consolation tries for the Blues, with Gareth Anscombe adding a conversion, but they were also chasing a game that, in truth, was beyond reach following Glasgow’s early onslaught.
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