Connacht have not beaten the Blues since August 2001 and this bad run continued, thanks largely to two tries from Blues winger Dean Dewdney.
The victory was the second in six days for Dai Young’s side following an eight game losing streak and fly-half Nick Macleod sealed the win with two second half penalties, after Connacht had hit the front through centre James Downey’s first-minute try.
Michael Bradley’s men scored off a clever Paul Warwick chip through after only 65 seconds. The Australian’s kick was collected by wing Conor McPhillips, whose neat footwork around Craig Morgan sent ex-Leinster starlet Downey galloping over to the right of the posts.
The try remained unconverted as Cardiff flanker Nathan Thomas kicked Warwick’s conversion off its tee after Scottish referee Malcolm Changleng had adjudged that 24-year-old Warwick had already begun his run-up.
That seemed to disrupt Connacht, whose lineout failed to perform and the Blues came more and more into the game. Macleod watched his fifth minute penalty bounce off the woodwork but the Welsh were back level on 14 minutes as skipper Tom Shanklin’s midfield break put Dewdney over in the right corner.
The winger was unfortunate not to score his second try two minutes later when knocking on at the base of a ruck. Then Macleod saw another kick screw wide before McPhillips’ injury-time hand trip saw Shanklin kept out.
Jonny Vaughton’s sin-binning for preventing a quick release turned the tie in the home side’s favour, and Warwick obliged for an 8-5 break lead with his second attempt in added time. Both kickers then missed a series of penalty shots in the second half with Macleod’s kicking from showing no signs of improving.
But the 21-year-old did send over two on 55 and 73 minutes, sandwiching Dewdney’s clever 69th-minute kick through and collect try under the posts, to earn Cardiff’s first win on Irish soil since last March.