Cardiff send Dragons packing

23rd Dec 2011, 21:48

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Centre of attention: Gavin Henson

Centre of attention: Gavin Henson

Alex Cuthbert scored two tries to help Cardiff Blues to a 28-9 Pro12 victory over the Dragons at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday.

Alex Cuthbert scored two tries to help Cardiff Blues to a 28-9 Pro12 victory over the Dragons at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday.

Wales midfielder Gavin Henson was the centre of attention as he made his debut, at full-back, for the hosts.

A Blues' team containing regular stand-off Dan Parks has been criticised for not scoring enough tries. This time, Ceri Sweeney took the reins in the pivot role and they promptly crossed the whitewash twice in the opening period, through Cuthbert and Bradley Davies.

Although the Dragons responded with three penalties from Jason Tovey, Cuthbert's second touchdown and 13 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny sealed a Cardiff victory.

Newport have endured a dreadful half of the season in the RaboDirect Pro12, with the Rodney Parade-based outfit currently sitting in 11th place. And despite a tense start to this game, as both Tovey and Halfpenny missed early penalty opportunities, it started to go to the form book from the 20th minute onwards.

It was the winger, Cuthbert, who eventually opened the scoring when he scampered over, Halfpenny converting, before the same player extended that advantage with a three-pointer.

Tovey responded with one of his own, but a second touchdown from Davies eased the Blues into a comfortable half-time lead. The winger once again added the extras as Cardiff led 17-3 at the break.

Halfpenny and Tovey traded penalties at the start of the second half before the Dragons' fly-half added another to bring them to within 11 points.

Cardiff's three-quarter then kicked a further three-pointer before his superb break and off-load set up Cuthbert to confirm a comfortable win.

The scorers:

For Cardiff:
Tries: Cuthbert 2, Davies
Cons: Halfpenny 2
Pens: Halfpenny 3

For Dragons:
Pens: Tovey 3

Cardiff Blues:15 Gavin Henson, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Paul Tito (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Ryan Tyrell, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze , 17 John Yapp, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Josh Navidi, 20 Maama Molitika, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dan Parks, 23 Jamie Roberts.

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau. 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Darren Waters, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Anitelea Tuilagi, 23 Will Harries.

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)