May 3, 2009
After regulation and extra time ended 26-26, Leicester Tiger outlasted Cardiff Blues 7-6 in sudden death penalties on this day in rugby history in 2009 at the Millennium Stadium to advance to the Heineken Cup final. Leicester came up short in the final was forced to accept runners-up medals.
The ending was the first penalty shoot-out in the history of the competition and had highs and lows for both teams.
Martyn Williams missed Cardiff’s eighth penalty wide and left the game in the hands of Jordan Crance who made no mistake with his kick.
“Maybe the organisers should look at (how the game finished),” said Leicester’s Richard Cockerill. “It might be a great spectacle but it’s horrible for the players.”
The game was back-and-forth during regulation as well. Leicester took a 26-12 lead but were reduced to 10 men and saw their advantage evaporate. This gave Cardiff the boost and the edge in extra time but they could not manage to break the deadlock.
During the penalty shoot-out, Leicester’s Johne Murphy missed the fourth kick giving Cardiff a paved path to the final but on the ensuing kick Cardiff wing Tom James also missed setting up the dramatic final.
“The boys were more nervous than I’ve ever seen them,” said Leicester captain, Geordan Murphy.
“It’s not a great way to win but it’s an even worse way to lose,” said Blues head coach, Dai Young. “Martyn is very low. If anyone has put in the hard yards to make this region, it’s him. But there will be no finger-pointing.”
Cardiff Blues: B Blair; L Halfpenny, T Shanklin, J Roberts (C Sweeney 109), T James; N Robinson, R Rees; G Jenkins, G Williams, F Filise (J Yapp 74), B Davies, P Tito (capt, D Jones 9), M Molitika (A Powell 60), M Williams, X Rush.
Tries: Roberts, James.
Cons: Blair (2).
Pens: Blair (2), Halfpenny (2).
Leicester Tigers: G Murphy (capt); S Hamilton, D Hipkiss (A Mauger 46-49; Dupuy 108), S Vesty, J Murphy (M Smith 64-75); T Flood (Mauger 61), J Dupuy (H Ellis 75); M Ayerza (Castrogiovanni 91), G Chuter (B Kayser 60), M Castrogiovanni (J White 51), T Croft, B Kay (M Wentzel 103), C Newby, B Woods (L Moody 73), J Crane.
Tries: Hamilton, G Murphy.
Cons: Dupuy (2).
Pens: Dupuy (4).
1851 – Richard Mullock – Founder of Welsh Rugby (died March 12, 1881)