Cardiff City Stadium, Sunday 27 December, 2009 Kick off 6.00pm
Cardiff Blues kicked off the festive derby match and were awarded an early penalty that struck the upright, however Blair soon made amends with an easier effort in front of the posts moments later.
Somewhat against the run of play it was the Dragons who scored the first try when Gustafson broke from a ruck 50 yards out and passed on to Brew who sprinted in to touch down in the corner. Arlidge converted. The Dragons had their tales up and Danny Lee threatened, dummying from the base of a ruck, and sprinting 60 yards through empty space before finally being brought down by Blair.
The Blues finally started to threaten with the backs passing the ball nicely along the line and Blair putting in a neat grubber, gaining good ground into the Dragons twenty two. However they failed to capitalise on the territory with the Dragons clearing.
The Blues were dealt a blow when Rhys Thomas was sent to the bin for coming in from the wrong side following a good break by Riley. Arlidge missed the relatively straight forward penalty attempt.
The Dragons came close to scoring again when the y opted for a line out 5 yards from the Blues tryline. However, a great Richie Rees tackle stopped them a yard out. The Blues finally cleared the danger but the Dragons were awarded a further penalty that Arlidge converted to bring the score to 3-10.
The Blues hit back instantly with Rush tacking a quick penalty and smashing at the Dragons defence. Bradley Davies took up the charge and carried the ball over the tryline. James Jones referred the decision to the video ref who decided no try. The Blues were now back to full strength with a scrum 5 metres out. A mix up at the back of the scrum saw Richie Rees knock on and the Dragons cleared.
It was a frustrating period of play where the Blues really should have put scores on the board, but it was Arlidge who could have extended the visitors lead with a 45 yard penalty, but it went woefully wide. However Tovey added the points with a huge drop goal from just inside the Blues half.
Half Time Cardiff Blues 3 Newport Gwent Dragons 13
The blues started the second half strongly with Richie Rees breaking well before they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts that Blair converted.
Again Rees broke well from the kick off and the Blues broke up the right with Norton Knight and Shanklin inter-passing well. The score came when Bradley Davies got his hands on the ball and nobody could stop the big second row from crashing over. Blair converted to level the scores. Blair added a further penalty a few minutes later to give the Blues the lead.
The Blues looked to have extended the lead following good build up play by Jamie Roberts, Ben Blair and Richard Mustoe who looked to have put Tom James in at the left corner. However, after referring to the video ref again no try was given with James looking to have knocked the ball on.
The Blues however soon got the try when an up n under bounced into the lap of Richard Mustoe who sprinted in under the posts. Blair converted. Richie Rees who was having an outstanding game extended the lead when the broke from the base of the scrum 40 yards out and had the pace and strength to leave the Dragons defence behind and touch down under the posts. Blair again converted. The Blues were dominating and a second highest crowd of 15,210 really got behind their team.
The bonus point try came following some great vision by Tom Shanklin. With a prop forward ahead of him Shanklin put a neat grubber kick through that deflected kindly a yard short of the tryline. The big centre kept his cool and gathered to touch down. Blair slotted the conversion. The Blues crowned a great evening with a well worked try that saw the Blues spread the ball through the backs and Tom James crash over in the corner.
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Jamie Roberts 62 off 11 Tom James 10 Sam Norton-Knight 75off 9 Richie Rees 77off
8 Xavier Rush 7 Martyn Williams 75off 6 Sam Warburton 75off 5 Scott Morgan 750ff 4 Bradley Davies 3 Taufa'au Filise 71off 2 T Rhys Thomas 77off 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
16 Gareth Williams 77on 17 Gary Powell 71on 18 Paul Tito 75on 19 Andy Powell 75on 20 Gareth Cooper 77on 21 Ceri Sweeney 75on 22 Gareth Thomas 62on
Newport Gwent Dragons 15 Jason Tovey 14 Aled Brew 13 Rhodri Gomer Davies 12 Tom Riley 11 Richard Fussell 10 James Arlidge 9 Danny Lee
8 Lewis Evans 7 Gavin Thomas 6 Joe Bearman 5 Robert Sidoli 4 Hoani MacDonald 3 Patrick Palmer 2 Tom Willis 1 Hugh Gustafson (c)
16 Steve Jones 17 Peter Bracken18 Adam Jones 19 Grant Webb 20 Will Harries 21 Matthew Watkins 22 Gareth Williams
Referee James Jones
Yellow Card T Rhys Thomas
Try B Davies x 1 Mustoe x 1 Rees x 1 Shanklin x 1 James x 1
Penalty Blair x 3
Con Blair x 4
Newport Gwent Dragons
Try Brew x 1
Penalty Arlidge x 1
Con Arlidge x 1
D/Goal Tovey x 1