It was another disappointing weekend for Cardiff Blues as John Mulvihill’s men lost a fourth successive game, this time at home to Munster, and that is where we start this stat attack.
Having lost to Edinburgh at the Arms Park in round two, Cardiff Blues have now lost consecutive league home games for the first time since September 2017, when it was both Scottish sides we fell to early in the season.
We have also now lost four league games in a row for the first time since September/October 2015, incidentally the last time we played during a Rugby World Cup, when we went down to all four Irish sides away from home in a nightmare run of games even with the internationals away.
If we lose at home to Cheetahs this weekend then it will be the worst Cardiff Blues losing streak across any competitions, not enough the league alone, since the 2006/07 season.
Nipping past the opposition
The only consistent positive in the first five rounds of the Guinness Pro14 season has been Matthew Morgan, the Cardiff Blues full-back who is in arguably his best form since arriving at the Arms Park in 2016.
The 27-year-old carried the ball eight times, making 79 metres and a line break, as well as three tackles without missing one. One of those tackles in particular was a try saver on marauding back-rower Jack O’Donoghue.
However, the most impressive stat was the beating of 10 defenders, the best in the Pro14 last week, and a number that boosted him two second in the overall ‘defenders beaten’ list in the league with 22.
Shifting the 20
In the two games prior to Saturday it had been the first 20 minutes of games that had let us down, effectively losing encounters against Glasgow and Ulster before they had even begun.
However, against Munster there was a noticeable effort to not go behind early as we came out of the blocks hard, actually winning 6-3 after 20 minutes of the game.
Unfortunately the 20 minutes that lost us the game weren’t eradicated though, it just moved to mid-way through the second half. Between 51 and 72 minutes we went from 16-13 up to 16-33 down. Not good.
For the first time in almost two years Corey Domachowski started a league game for Cardiff Blues on Saturday, packing down at loosehead as Brad Thyer dropped to the bench.
A strong scrummaging performance was backed up by making 14 tackles and 11 carries, with only Will Boyde making more in the second category, and he even bagged a try just before half-time.
This isn’t to say he has what Rhys Carre has, but with a run in the first team and developing that match sharpness then the 23-year-old can become an important squad member this season.