Stat Attack: Clinical

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Cardiff Blues fell to a first defeat on Monday night as Munster emerged victorious from a 38-27 battle at Thomond Park.

John Mulvihill’s men were unlucky not to come home with any points in the bag, but there were still plenty of positives to take in to another Monday night clash, this time against Ulster, in round three.

Dacey Me Rollin’

It was late in the day when Kris Dacey assumed the captaincy after Lloyd Williams was called up to the Wales squad, but the hooker stepped up brilliantly to put in a real leader’s performance, even returning to the fray after being substituted to pack down in the back row when Sam Moore’s required a HIA.

The 31-year-old made more tackles than anyone on the field with 19, adding to the 20 he made against Connacht, as well as missing just one lineout throw and winning a turnover. His 39 tackles put him fifth in the Pro14 despite Munster being his first start and his appearance last week coming off the bench.

After a tough time with injuries it’s good to see Dacey back fit and firing, even if he has ditched the flowing locks now!

Points, but no territory

Some poor exit plays, errors and kicking meant Cardiff Blues were stuck in our own half for much of the game. John Mulvihill mentioned in his post match comments that we only had 18% territory in the first half, and by the end of the game it settled at 30%.

However, despite that we still left Thomond with 27 points and three tries, displaying a really clinical edge to an attack that looked blunt at times last season. With Jarrod Evans, Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo all getting better by the week, the sky is the limit.

After three rounds the Pro14 stats have us as the fourth best attack in the competition, with the fourth most points scored (72), fourth most metres made (1039), and fourth most clean breaks (24).

The Rhondda Rocket

Aled Summerhill returned to the Cardiff Blues matchday squad in style on Monday, bagging himself a try, leading the team on metres made with 80 from eight carries, and making two line breaks to cap an excellent performance.

A lot of attention is drawn towards the scoring records of Josh Adams and Owen Lane at the Arms Park, but the 25-year-old has a comparably lethal streak with 16 tries in his last 27 league and European games stretching back to the start of the 2018/19 season.

His try on Monday was his 26th overall for Cardiff Blues, drawing him level with Dan Fish and Chris Czekaj in the post-2003 try scorers list at seventh place. With Kris Dacey on 27, Tom Shanklin on 28 and Jamie Robinson on 29 ahead of him, moving up the list is highly likely over the next few weeks.

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