Planet Rugby

Blues hold their nerve in red mist

26th December 2007 16:14

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Paul Tito hands on head

Paul Tito looks dismayed as he gets his marching orders

Cardiff Blues took the points from a feisty Welsh derby against the Dragons in the Magners League on Boxing Day, winning 11-6 in a match which saw two red cards and two yellow.

Despite overwhelming territorial advantage, the expected four-try victory with a vital bonus point never materialised for the Blues.

The Dragons were reduced to 13 men for 10 minutes in the first half when both props Adam Black and Gethin Robinson were sin-binned but the Blues failed to take advantage of the uncompetitive scrums.

Opposite numbers Nick Macleod and Aled Thomas kicked penalty goals in a dire first half that ended in a 3-3 stalemate.

The Dragons showed more attacking intent after the re-start but Macleod's second penalty goal put the Blues ahead against the run of play.

There was little time for coherent back play by either side, and it was no surprise when the only try of the game came from an opposition mistake.

In the 64th minute a loose line-up throw by the Dragons was seized upon by Blues flanker Ben White and, after a television replay, the try was awarded.

The capacity crowd had little to get excited about and typically the game ended with a punch-up in the forwards which led to red cards for Blues lock Paul Tito and Dragons number eight Joe Bearman.

The only consolation for the Dragons was that Ceri Sweeney kicked a penalty goal and a bonus point in an undistinguished defeat.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:

Try: White

Pens: MacLeod 2

For the Dragons:

Pens: Thomas , Sweeney

Yellow cards: Robinson (Dragons, 28), Black (Dragons, 29)

Red cards: Tito (Blues, 76, fighting), Bearman (Dragons, 76, fighting)

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jamie Roberts 14 Tal Selley, 13 Jamie Robinson, 12 Tom Shanklin, 11 Gareth Thomas, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Andy Powell, 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor (captain), 6 Ben White, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Gary Powell, 2 T.Rhys Thomas, 1 John Yapp,

Replacements: 16 Gethin Jenkins, 17 Gareth Williams, 18 Paul Tito, 19 Mark Lewis, 20 Darren Allinson, 21 Rhys Jones, 22 Dafydd Hewitt.

Dragons: 15 Kevin Morgan (captain), 14 Richard Fussell, 13 Rhodri Gomer Davies, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Mustoe, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Richard Parks, 6 Jamie Ringer, 5 Peter Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Gethin Robinson, 2 Ben Daly, 1 Adam Black.

Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Rhys Thomas, 18 Michael Owen, 19 Colin Charvis, 20 Paul Emerick, 21 Ceri Sweeney, 22 Alex Walker.

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