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Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues

Patchell gives Dragons the boot

26th December 2012 15:54

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Cardiff Blues pivot Rhys Patchell kicked four penalties to help his team to a vital 12-10 Pro12 victory over the Dragons.

On a muddy and rain-sodden Arms Park pitch, Cardiff, who started as favourites with bookmakers like Paddy Power, took a 9-0 half-time lead through the boot of Patchell.

The Dragons hit back after the break via Andy Tuilagi's try and Lewis Robling's penalty, but the Blues' fly-half secured his side the victory from the tee.

In atrocious conditions which made it difficult for handling, it was the visitors that made the brighter start, but Dan Evans missed an early opportunity when presented with a chance in front of posts.

Cardiff have struggled throughout this season and they found it difficult to gain a foothold in this match in the opening exchanges.

However, with the dead-eye boot of talented youngster Patchell, the 19-year-old who has been tipped for big things by people who like to bet on rugby, superbly kicked the hosts ahead after 15 minutes.

He followed that up with another soon after as the Blues started to assert their authority on proceedings. And a third from the tee saw the home side take a comfortable lead into the break, particularly with the weather making it difficult for try-scoring.

But that didn't prevent Newport from finding their way over the line after the interval when a period of pressure ended in Tuilagi touching down, with Wayne Evans converting.

All of a sudden it was Cardiff who were under pressure and a mistake by Patchell allowed Robling to kick the Dragons into the lead.

The pivot made up for that error when he slotted his fourth penalty to regain the Blues' advantage. Robling had a late chance to snatch the victory but his drop-goal drifted wide and the hosts held on.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Pens: Patchell 4

For Dragons:
Try: Tuilagi
Con: Evans
Pen: Robling

More to follow...

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Robin Copeland, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Richard Smith.

Dragons: 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 (capt), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon.

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Group B
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1Northampton29
2Cardiff Blues28
3Sale Sharks25
4London Irish21