10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Celtic League: Week 17: Saturday, March 5 Cardiff Blues 30 Munster 20, Arms Park Scorers: Cardiff: Tries: Nicky Robinson, Kort Schubert 2; Con: Nick Macleod, Lee Thomas 2; Pens: Thomas 2; Drop gl: Robinson Munster: Tries: Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan; Cons: Paul Burke 2; Pens: Burke 2
Not only did Gaffney's men lose their second game in three outings, but full-back Christian Cullen faces an MRI scan on his shoulder on Monday, after being left all black and blue at the Arms Park.
The 58-times capped Kiwi saw just 37 minutes of action, after sustaining ligament damage in his left shoulder from a heavy tackle. Cullen could be a doubt for next month's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Biarritz.
Having stuttered past Glasgow 25-19 last time out, Munster were badly undone in the opening half as - with snow falling - they turned with a 17-6 deficit.
Late tries from Ireland front rowers Marcus Horan and Frankie Sheahan - captain for the day - offered them a chink of light but their efforts were too little, too late as the Blues' American number eight Kort Schubert pocketed two tries, and a late Lee Thomas penalty robbed the visitors of a bonus point.
Minus seven internationals, Munster travelled with hope of revenge - 11 months ago they fell to a nine-try 60-14 defeat in the Welsh capital. Nonetheless, two Paul Burke penalties was all they had to offer for the first 40.
Horan touched down early in the second half to add spark, following a line-out drive. Further hope arrived for Munster when Cardiff centre Thomas was sin-binned for not rolling away in the tackle on the hour.
Schubert's second try was the key for injury-hit Cardiff as despite shipping Sheahan's effort - the hooker's third try in his last four league starts - Thomas kicked them home, even with Wales flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor in the bin.
Still lying second, Munster are eight points behind leaders the Ospreys, and face provincial rivals Ulster at Musgrave Park next (March 18).
Cardiff: Nick Macleod; Dean Dewdney, Tristan Davies, Lee Thomas, Craig Morgan; Nick Robinson, Ryan Powell; Martin Jones, Gareth Williams, Ben Evans, Craig Quinnell (Capt), Deiniol Jones, Maama Molitika, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Kort Schubert. Replacements used: Nathan Llewellyn for Martin Jones (77 mins), Jonny Vaughton for Robinson (78), Rhys Thomas for Williams (79). Not used: Dafydd Hewitt, Richard Smith, James Goode, Nathan Thomas.
(15) Christian Cullen (14) John Kelly (13) Shaun Payne (12) Rob Henderson (11) Anthony Horgan (10) Paul Burke (9) Mike Prendergast (1) Marcus Horan (2) Frankie Sheahan (Capt) (3) Gordon McIlwham (4) Tom Bowman (5) Trevor Hogan (6) Jim Williams (7) David Wallace (8) Stephen Keogh
Replacements used: Paul Devlin for Cullen (36 mins), Alan Quinlan for Keogh (41), Eoin Reddan for Prendergast (46), Jason Holland for Henderson (57). Not used: Frankie Roche, Jerry Flannery, Tom Hayes.
Sin-bins: Lee Thomas (Cardiff) (60 mins), Robin Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff) (74) HT: Cardiff 17 Munster 6; Attendance: 3,350 Referee: Mike Hall (Scotland)