Navidi double helps Blues win derby

Date published: December 19 2014

Josh Navidi scored two first-half tries as Cardiff Blues claimed a comfortable 21-9 derby win over the Scarlets in the Guinness Pro12.

The Blues put in perhaps their best half of the season in the opening 40, with Navidi at the heart of it.

Navidi got two impressive tries in the opening half, with Gareth Anscombe adding 11 points to give an imposing lead at the break.

Two yellow cards came immediately after the break, and Scarlets had three clear cut chances to get themselves back into the match, but failed to go over the line, as the Blues brushed past their Welsh opponents.

Anscombe opened the scoring, striking a penalty in off the post. And it wasn’t long before he doubled his side’s lead, as Cardiff burst out of the blocks against a struggling Scarlets side.

The first try of the evening came 17 minutes in, as the home side forced a scrum forward. Navidi burst through a heap of bodies, and muscled his way towards the try line, Anscombe again making no mistake with the extras.

Rhys Priestland did get his side on the scoreboard with two penalty, but the Blues did not hold up on the onslaught, Navidi striking again inside the opening 30 minutes.

After breaking away from a maul, he again forced his way over in a breath-taking half for the 23-year-old. And following a wonderful attack, Anscombe scored the last three points of the half, as Cardiff bore down on only their second win in nine games against their Welsh opposition.

The game took a sour turn two minutes after the break, as both sides were reduced to 14. Filo Paulo and Johan Snyman were involved in a brawl, leaving little choice for Dudley Phillips as he sent both to the sin bin.

Priestland narrowed the lead to 21-9 with a penalty for Scarlets, but they were unable to take advantage of three clearcut chances that came their way.

Lewis Rawlins was the first to make a mess of a possible try, as he failed to gather a pass following a burst forward from the visitors.

Next to fail was Rhodri Williams. He spilt a pass from Priestland after the fly-half had steamed forward in an attempt to get his side their first try of the night.

And Scott Williams was left frustrated minutes later. His clever attack saw him lead his side deep into the opposition 22, but his pass was left wanting, with no teammate following his burst forward.

The Blues fans gave Taufa’ao Filise a hero’s welcome late in the half, after he became Cardiff’s leading appearance maker on a winning night.

Navidi’s night was slightly marred by a late yellow card, but his side continued to defend well, holding up their opposition on numerous occasions to secure just their second victory over the Scarlets in nine games.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Navidi 2
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 3
Yellow Cards: Paulo, Navidi

For Scarlets:
Pens: Priestland 3
Yellow Card: Snyman

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Adam Thomas, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Scarlets: 15 Steffan Evans, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Regan King, 12 Scott Williams (capt), 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Hadleigh Parkes.

Venue: BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)