Newport Gwent Dragons 13 Cardiff Blues 40
Friday 7 September, 6.10pm kick off, Rodney Parade, Magners League
The Blues seemed to be under pressure early on but the ball emerged on their side from a ruck, inside their own twenty two. A lovely kick though by Nicky Robinson landed in Xavier Rushs hands and he drew his man and passed out to Jamie Roberts. The big winger had the strength to shake off his tackler and the speed to run in for the try. Robinson soon extended the lead with a well struck penalty.
The Dragons kicked for territory into Blues twenty two but Blair did well to clear the ball up-field and did superbly to steal the Dragons lineout ball. Ben White and Gary Powell drove to within yards of the try-line and Nicky Robinson showed his class, dummying across the backline and finally passing to Rhys Williams who sprinted into score in the corner.
Minutes later, Richie Rees threw an excellent dummy and released Tal Selley who sprinted in from the half way line for the third try of the evening. Robinson added the conversion. Aled Thomas however kicked the Dragons second penalty to bring the score to 6-20.
The Blues defence was solid in midfield and the forwards also were rukcing well. Strong running from Rush and Sowden-Taylor nearly resulted in a further score when Robinson threw a long pass out to the left. Ben Blair popped up on the wing and looked as if he could sprint into the corner but decided to cut back inside where the move broke down.
Newport Gwent Dragons 6 Cardiff Blues 20
The Blues started the second half strongly with Nicky Robinson putting in a lovely chip into Dragons twenty two and putting the home team under pressure. Robinson struck the post with the penalty and Selley did well to gather the rebound. The Blues showed some quick hands from Rush and Sowden-Taylor that saw the ball come out to the right for Selley to touch down for his second. Robinson added the conversion.
Despite the Blues scoring the bonus point try The Dragons never gave up and battled well in the Blues twenty two. The Blues were dealt a blow when in the 58minute Paul Tito was sent to the sin bin. The home team nearly scored when Aled Thomas slipped through Nicky Robinsons tackle, but the Blues outside half redeemed himself when he intercepted the try scoring pass and cleared. However the home side did make the most of the man advantage when Richard Parks crashed over for the Dragons first try. Aled Thomas converted.
The numbers were levelled when Joe Bearman was awarded a yellow card for Dragons and Nicky Robinson converted the penalty.
The Blues soon got the fifth try when a nice move from the scrum saw Riche Rees pass back inside to Mark Lewis who crashed over. Robinson again converted and added a late drop goal to end a great game for the Blues.
Cardiff Blues15 Ben Blair (71off) 14 Rhys Williams 13 Tal Selley 12 Dafydd Hewitt (56off) 11 Jamie Roberts 10 Nick Robinson 9 Richie Rees (77off) 8 Xavier Rush (c) (63off) 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor 6 Ben White 5 Paul Tito 4 Deiniol Jones (55off) 3 Gary Powell (69off) 2 Ross Johnson (55off) 1 John Yapp 16 Scott Roberts (69on) 17 Gareth Williams (55on) 18 Robert Sidoli (55on) 19 Mark Lewis (63on) 20 Jason Spice (77on) 21 Nick Macleod (71on) 22 Marc Stcherbina (56on)
CARDIFF BLUES DRAGONS
TRIES J Roberts x 1 Richard Parks x 1
R Williams x 1
T Selley x 2
M Lewis x 1
PENALTIES N Robinson x 2 Aled Thomas x 2
CONVERSIONS N Robinson x 3 Aled Thomas x 1
DROP GOALS N Robinson x 1