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Hammer delighted to secure derby day triumph

1st January 2015

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett admitted it wasn't all pretty, but it was job done as Cardiff Blues secured a dramatic 11-9 win over rivals Newport Gwent Dragons in the Guinness PRO12 at Rodney Parade.

Cory Allen scored the game’s only try in Newport and Gareth Anscombe slotted a penalty and drop goal on the way to a man-of-the-match award.

However, it was a nerve-shredding finale in the Welsh derby as Blues held out in the dying seconds as they secured a dramatic late penalty at scrum time in the shadow of their own posts to claim the crucial win.

“The last couple of minutes means the heart is not too good - but we got what we needed so we are ecstatic about that,” said Hammer.

“I thought it was an incredible atmosphere. Over the last two weeks I have got a real understanding what these derby matches mean to the players. The sacrifices they make around this time of year is outstanding.

“It wasn’t all pretty, but there was no lack of intensity. It was a good display and people should be happy with what they saw.

“I thought our kicking game and chase was much better this week. I thought the Dragons played the dark arts of the contact area very well and out did us last week. But I felt we generally controlled that area today.”

Hammer also praised the performance of the officials in a red-hot derby day atmosphere adding: “I thought the referee was probably one of the best I’ve seen. I am really interested to see the scrum side of things. But in that atmosphere I felt he was really on top of his game.”