Derby win for Cardiff Blues

Date published: December 26 2016

Cardiff Blues closed the gap on the top six teams in the PRO12 after they saw off the Dragons 27-16 at Cardiff Arms Park on Monday.

An early score from Steve Shingler was added to by Kristian Dacey and Josh Navidi to amass a healthy half-time lead, but the Blues failed to find the bonus point score.

The Dragons found a reply through Ashton Hewitt, while Angus O'Brien's kicking kept the visitors in contention of a losing bonus point, but they ultimately fell short.

Shingler opened the scoring with a fine display of strength and athleticism to score in the corner, before expertly converting from the touchline. O'Brien replied with a penalty, only for Shingler to cancel it out moments later.

Both sides were then reduced to 14 men when Rey Lee-Lo was sin-binned for a high tackle, and Rynard Landman for leading with a shoulder just one minute later. Both sides took their opportunities to add further penalties, taking the score to 13-6.

With Cardiff Blues a man light in the backs, the Dragons were able to find a way through when Hewitt collected O'Brien's grubber to carry over, allowing the 10 to bring the scores level.

The hosts soon took the lead once again when a strong scrum pushed their way towards the line, before hooker Dacey span away from a tackle to dive over, and Shingler converted.

Another O'Brien penalty kept the scoreboard ticking for the visitors, but Cardiff Blues soon had a third try when Shingler broke through the Dragons' defensive line, before finding Navidi to score under the posts to make the conversion a formality.

The Dragons went closest to finding a second-half score as they looked for a losing bonus-point, but a stern defensive showing from the Blues saw them win a number of penalties at the ruck to see the game peter out.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Shingler, Dacey, Navidi
Cons: Shingler 3
Pens: Shingler 2
Yellow Card: Lee-Lo (19 min)

For Dragons:
Try: Hewitt
Con: O'Brien
Pens: O'Brien 3
Yellow Card: Landman (21 min)

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Corey Allen, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Nicky Robinson, 23 Garyn Smith

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Nick Crosswell, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Sam Beard

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Sean Brickell (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)