A strong first-half performance helped the Dragons hold on for a 23-17 Guinness PRO12 victory over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday.
The Dragons headed into the Welsh derby in strong form, having won their last three matches in all competitions, while the Blues were looking to back up their previous week’s win over Scarlets.
The visitors held the trump cards for the majority of the game, but an injection of intensity from Cardiff Blues in the final stages threatened to turn the result on its head.
Tom Prydie broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when he booted the Dragons in front with a penalty goal, and the visitors put real daylight between the two sides on the half-hour with the game’s first try.
Elliot Dee was at the back of a driving maul to cross the line and Prydie converted to make it 0-10, before adding another penalty goal on 37 minutes to extend out the lead even further.
Gareth Davies hit a penalty on the stroke of half-time to cut the deficit down to ten points, but the Dragons were awarded a penalty try just seven minutes into the second half, which Prydie converted.
But the Blues hit back in the final quarter, and the comeback was on when Jarrad Hoeata crossed the line for Gareth Anscombe to convert.
And Anscombe was on target again following Tavis Knoyle’s score, which reduced the Dragons’ lead to just three points.
But the visitors consolidated their lead shortly after through Prydie’s third penalty goal of the afternoon, and that proved to be enough for the Dragons to secure their win.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Hoeata, Knoyle
Con: Anscombe 2
Tries: Dee, Penalty
Con: Prydie 2
Pen: Prydie 3
Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Adam Thomas.
Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 James Thomas, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Dan Way, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ian Gough, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones.
Referee: Leighton Hodges
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas, Craig Evans
TMO: Gareth Simmonds