The All Black legend's presence doubled the Reivers' average crowd from 1,800 to 3,879, but he couldn't do anything to prevent the three-point loss. With Coach Dai Young resting 13 first-choice players ahead of next weekend's Heineken Cup clash with Perpignan, Reivers took full advantage to continue their impressive League season.
Fly-half Charlie Hore kicked 16 points as Reivers scored a try in each half, with two Blues tries in the final two minutes making the scoreline more respectable. The game was delayed as fans streamed in to catch a glimpse of Lomu, but the first quarter had most of the crowd wishing they had stayed at home.
Neither side looked keen to run the ball, and it was 17 minutes before the scoreboard attendants had anything to do. Hore slotted a penalty goal, before the home side brought the crowd to their feet by running the ball from inside their own half. The backs made the yards, but it was lock Scott Macleod who flicked the try-scoring pass to prop Tommy McGee to give Reivers a 10-0 lead.
Hore (two) and Blues fly-half Nick Macleod traded penalties, but the visitors looked to have one eye on the Perpignan match as they went into the break trailing 16-3. Macleod narrowed the margin with two penalty goals as referee Alain Rolland lost patience with the Reivers forwards, but home winger Nikki Walker scored the match-sealing try after some good work from Simon Danielli.
The Blues hit back with late tries to centre Marc Stcherbina and lock Craig Quinnell to grab a bonus point, but they ran out of time to steal an unlikely victory.
Border Reivers: Tries - T McGee, N Walker; Pens - C Hore 4; Cons - C Hore 2
Cardiff Blues: Try - M Stcherbina, C Quinnell; Pens - N Macleod 3; Cons - N Macleod 2. Halftime: Border Reivers 16-3
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)