Cardiff Blues 43 - 21 Dragons RFC
Sat 18 September 18:30 Cardiff City Stadium Att: 11,194 Ref: Nigel Owens Celtic League

Cardiff Blues 43 Newport Gwent Dragons 21

Sun 19 Sep 2010 08:40 Cardiff Blues 43 Newport Gwent Dragons 21
It was the Dragons who started the game the strongest attacking into the Blues twenty two, with a Mathew Jones cross kick nearly resulting in a try for Matthew Pewtner on the wing. However, the Blues were offside and Jones slotted the penalty.

Moments earlier Laulala went flying into a tackle on Gomer Davies which resulted in the Kiwi centre being carried off on a stretcher as a precaution. Fortunately Laulala was up and about within 10 minutes of being taken off.

As predicted the tackle area was hugely competitive with both sides battling for the ball in what was developing into a tenacious match. Ceri Sweeney was unlucky when he did well to charge down a Matthew Jones kick inside the Dragons twenty two, the ball bounced awkwardly for the fly half, who just failed to gather with the try line beckoning.

Blair levelled the score with a simple penalty but it was a superb breakaway resulted in the next score. Some neat inter passing between Shanklin, Sweeney, Thomas and Blair put Halfpenny under the posts. Blair converted to get his 1,000th point for the region but jones soon got 3 back for the Dragons.

Czekaj nearly got the second in the corner following some good work by Shanklin and Hewitt, but still the Blues attacked and eventually spread the ball right where T Rhys Thomas crashed over in the corner. Blair was gain accurate with the extras.

A great break by Rush on the blind-side saw the Blues gain ground before the ball went right to Czekaj who again showed his strength. Patiently the Blues worked through the phases and held on to possession, for 26 phases, before eventually being penalised and the chance was gone only two metres out. However Blair added another penalty to bring the score to 20-6.

Half time Cardiff Blues 20 Newport Gwent Dragons 6

The Dragons started the second half with a penalty to Mathew Jones that Blair soon equalled. The visiting side a sustained period of pressure but some firm defence kept them out. The Blues themselves soon built up a head of steam with Paterson looking to have scored only for referee Nigel Owens to call them back for a forward pass.

It was the Dragons who got the next score with a great breakaway effort, Riley showed his Pace and passed on to Will Harries, who despite looking like he knocked it on, did well to beat the defenders and cross for a try in the corner. Harries converted but Blair soon struck another penalty after Charteris was penalised for offside.

The Blues had a great opportunity to score again when Williams ran back to the blindside and passed to Blair, the fullback tried to put Shanklin in the corner but the pass was marginally forward. Again the Blues attacked but seemed to squander a chance when they kicked ahead when they had men outside. Eventually the score came with some good build up work from Williams and Hewitt, quick hands by Jenkins put T Rhys Thomas through for a try under the posts. Blair converted and the Blues had 10 minutes to try to get the bonus point.

The Blues pressed on and again Jenkins showed his slick hands with Sweeney nearly scoring, touching down on the posts. However, the score came when Rush took a quick penalty and stretched over to clinch the bonus point. Blair maintained his 100% record with the boot with the conversion and added a further penalty to bring the score to 43-16

Adam Hughes scored a great try at the death but it was mere consolation for the Dragons.

Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Casey Laulala (8off) 12 Tom Shanklin11 Chris Czekaj 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Lloyd Williams

8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 6 Maama Molitika (48off) 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Scott Andrews (54off) 2 T Rhys Thomas (77off) 1 Gethin Jenkins

16 Rhys Williams (77on) 17 Tafa’ao Filise 18 John Yapp (54on) 19 Deiniol Jones 20 Michael Paterson (48on) 21 Richie Rees 22 Dan Parks 23 Dafydd Hewitt (8on)

Newport Gwent Dragons

Cardiff Blues

Tries Halfpenny x 1 T R Thomas x 2 Rush x 1
Cons Blair x 4
Pens Blair x 5

Newport Gwent Dragons

Tries Harries x 1 Hughes x 1
Cons M Jones x 1
Pens M Jones x 3

Referee: Nigel Owens
Yellow Cards: Ben Castle
Attendance: 11,194