Cardiff Blues 12 Newport Gwent Dragons 10
26 December 2012 Cardiff Arms Park
With the rain having fallen heavily in Cardiff over the past week the Arms Park pitch had taken a bit of a battering and the ground was heavy underfoot as both teams took to the field for the second Welsh derby of the Christmas period.
Despite the conditions, the Dragons tried to run the ball with Faletau looking dangerous as he broke from the back of the scrum. They dominated the opening ten minutes attacking the Blues try line, but some solid defence kept them out, which saw tempers flaring over and Coombs and Hobbs having a wrestle in the mud.
The first points came from a Mike Poole shove on Dafydd Hewitt, which resulted in a penalty for the Blues that Patchell slotted from 45 yards, kicking on the only grassy bit of the Arms Park.
Patchell extended the lead with another well-taken effort despite the rain lashing down. Regardless of the conditions it was an entertaining encounter with some accurate kicking which saw the Blues gain some good ground. The Blues eventually won a third penalty after the Dragons were caught in front of their kicker and Patchell maintained his 100% record.
Half time Cardiff Blues 9 Newport Gwent Dragons 0
The second half started with the Dragons having a period of pressure in the Blues twenty-two, battering at the Blues try line, before Tuilagi eventually powered his way through Harry Robinson’s tackle and carried Gavin Evans over the line with him to score the only try of the game. Wayne Evans converted.
The Dragons took the lead for the first time just before the hour mark when Patchell was penalized for holding on and substitute Lewis Robling slotted the penalty. However, Patchell made up for his error moments later by slotting his own and putting the Blues back in front. Worryingly the Dragons were dominating territory but fortunately weren’t able to convert it into points with the Blues defence holding well; although it was impossible to identify which mud drenched players were doing the tackling. Robbling snatched a drop goal that drifted right of the posts and the Blues hung on for a hard fought win.
15 Jason Tovey 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Gavin Evans 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Harry Robinson 10 Rhys Patchell 9 Lewis Jones (60off)
8 Andries Pretorius (c) 7 Sam Warburton 6 Robin Copeland (58off) 5 Lou Reed 4 Bradley Davies 3 Scott Andrews (52off) 2 Rhys Williams (70off) 1 Sam Hobbs (52off)
16 Kristian Dacey (70on) 17 Taufa’ao Filise (52on) 18 Benoit Bourrust (52on) 19 Macauley Cook 20 Josh Navidi (58on) 21 Alex Walker (60on) 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Richard Smith
15 Hallam Amos 14 Will Harries 13 Pat Leach 12 Andy Tuilagi 11 Mike Poole 10 Dan Evans 9 Wayne Evans
8 Toby Faletau 7 Nic Cudd 6 Lewis Evans (c) 5 Rob Sidoli 4 Andrew Coombs 3 Dan Way 2 Sam Parry 1 Phil Price
16 Hugh Gustafson 17 Owen Evans 18 Nathan Buck 19 Adam Jones 20 Tom Brown 21 Jonathan Evans 22 Lewis Robling 23 Jack Dixon
Pen Patchell x 4
Newport Gwent Dragons
Tries Tuilagi x 1
Con W Evans x 1
Pen Robling x 1