Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons 9-11 Blues

By Rob WestallBBC Sport Wales
Cory Allen
Cardiff Blues try-scorer Cory Allen has won two caps for Wales
Newport Gwent Dragons (3) 9
Pens: Prydie (3)
Cardiff Blues (5) 11
Try: Allen Drop goal: Anscombe Pen: Anscombe

Cardiff Blues gained revenge for their Boxing Day defeat against Newport Gwent Dragons with a narrow win over their rivals at Rodney Parade.

A Tom Prydie penalty gave Dragons an early lead before Blues centre Cory Allen crashed over for the only try as the visitors led 5-3 at half time.

Gareth Anscombe's drop-goal made it 8-3, before two more Prydie penalties edged the Dragons in front.

But in the 68th minute Anscombe's penalty sealed victory for Blues.

Cardiff Blues now move up to eighth in the Pro12, five points above Dragons in 10th.

Dragons were aiming to do the double over their south Wales rivals following their 23-17 win at the Arms Park on 26 December.

The Gwent-based region were also looking for their third Pro12 win in a row and they got off to a promising start, leading 3-0 from Prydie's boot in a scrappy opening quarter.

Anscombe missed the chance to level the scores, dragging a long-range penalty narrowly wide of the posts in windy conditions.

Cardiff Blues fly-half Gareth Anscombe says he is not thinking about Wales honours

But the New Zealander's pass set up Allen to run in for the only try of the match, after Blues had enjoyed their first period of sustained pressure.

Dragons lived off scraps in the first half as Blues enjoyed 67% of possession, but failed to create many chances apart from Allen's score.

Seconds after the break the Blues continued to keep the ball in hand and laid the foundation for Anscombe to slot over a drop-goal from in front of the posts.

Prydie brought the home side back to within two points minutes later, after Blues' lock Filo Paulo was penalised for getting involved in an altercation with the Dragons pack.

With the wind behind them Dragons enjoyed their best spell of the match, putting Blues under pressure.

Replacement scrum-half Jonathan Evans ran a quickly-taken penalty just 10 yards from the Blues line, but his pass was slightly behind Hallam Amos, allowing the Blues defence to keep out the winger.

Fellow wing Matthew Pewtner did make it across the Blues' whitewash only for the score to be ruled out for crossing.

Dragons continued to press and Prydie kicked them 9-8 ahead after replacement prop Adam Jones was penalised following a collapsed scrum deep in the Blues' half.

Prydie missed the opportunity to extend his side's lead on 62 minutes, pulling his kick wide of the upright.

Blues then missed two great opportunities to retake the lead.

Centre Gavin Evans sliced through the Dragons defence, but was caught close to the line after opting to cut inside instead of using the support out wide.

Blues spurned another overlap moments later as winger Richard Smith was held up after going for the line instead of spreading the ball out to the corner.

Their pressure eventually paid off as they poured forward and Anscombe slotted over a penalty to put them 11-9 in front with 12 minutes to go.

Dragons were awarded a chance to snatch victory with the last play of the match, winning a scrum five metres from the Blues line after wing Lucas Amorosino deflected Dorian Jones' drop-goal over the dead ball line.

However, they gave away a penalty from the resulting set-piece and referee Ian Davies blew the final whistle.


Newport Gwent Dragons: Tom Prydie; Matthew Pewtner, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Andrew Coombs, Rynard Landman (capt), James Thomas, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Hugh Gustafson, Owen Evans, Dan Way, Cory Hill, Andy Powell, Jonathan Evans, Dorian Jones, Geraint Rhys Jones.

Cardiff Blues: Joaquin Tuculet; Richard Smith, Cory Allen, Gavin Evans, Lucas Amorosino; Gareth Anscombe, Tavis Knoyle; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Taufa'ao Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Sam Hobbs, Adam Jones, Macauley Cook, Manoa Vosawai, Lewis Jones, Gareth Davies, Adam Thomas.

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)

Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Simon Rees (both WRU)

Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU)

TMO: Derek Bevan (WRU)