With five wins from five on the bounce at Rodney Parade for the Newport Gwent Dragons, the Men of Gwent looked to take their home form on the road but unfortunately they missed out on the win.
As usual the Welsh Derby began well with all of the entertainment and scoring happening in the first half with the tricky Cardiff Blues team managing to stay on top to seal a win of 27-16.
Unfortunately for the Men of Gwent, the Blues came out of the starting blocks well, so well that they had a converted try under their belts within the first 3 minutes. It was Steven Shingler who chalked up their first 7 points.
The Dragons first three points came through the boot of fly-half Angus O’Brien, but the narrow deficit didn’t last long as Shingler had an opportunity to add another three points to see the scoreboard 10-3, after 15 minutes.
Soon after this referee Ben Whitehouse yellow carded Rey Lee Lo for a high tackle on O’Brien, seeing the young fly-half awarded a penalty kick. However, the Dragons man advantage didn’t last long as Rynard Landman was also sent to the sin bin, for a dangerous tackle on Alex Cuthbert. Similarly to the Dragons, Steven Shingler slotted over a penalty kick for the home side seeing their lead extend to 13-6.
A lovely burst from Adam Warren sent the Dragons closer to the whitewash, and a chip through the Blues defence from O’Brien saw Ashton Hewitt collect and slide over for the try. The conversion was added and this saw the scores even out.
Close to the half hour marker, of the first half, Cardiff Blues piled on the pressure and with them forcing their way through to the Dragons 22, the Men of Gwent struggled to keep them at bay. With Nick Williams and Josh Navidi continuing the attack on the Dragons defence, it was Kristian Dacey who slipped through for the try and Shingler once again converted 20-13.
Angus O’Brien slotted another penalty kick, but Shingler snuck through a gap in the Dragons defence and offloaded to Navidi to see him dive under the sticks on the half time whistle.
Half Time: Cardiff Blues 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons 16
Despite some great play from the Men of Gwent during the second half they failed to force their way over to get the crucial points they needed. And when Cardiff Blues had another opportunity to add three points to the scoreboard, it was a surprise that Matthew Morgan missed the simple penalty kick.
As the clock ticked down the Dragons’ replacement Sam Beard made a lovely break down the pitch but unfortunately he offloaded and the ball was knocked forward with play coming to an end to this Welsh Derby.
Full Time: Cardiff Blues 27 – Newport Gwent Dragons 16
Next up for the Dragons is a New Year’s Derby against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade, tickets are currently on sale from the Rodney Parade Ticket Office or by calling 01633 674990.