Dragons upset Cardiff Blues
April 29, 2011
Aled Brew scored one of the Dragons' three tries
© Getty Images
The Dragons upset the Cardiff 28-15 at Rodney Parade on Friday night to leave the Blues still fighting for a place in the Magners League play-offs.
The Blues' failure to take anything, even a losing bonus point, from their delayed Boxing Day derby with the Dragons means they stay just one point ahead of the Ospreys in fourth place.
And, with the top four contesting the play-offs, the tension will be high next weekend as the Blues face another tough Welsh derby at the Scarlets while the Ospreys will be going all-out for a bonus-point win at basement side Aironi.
The Blues wanted to wrap things up at Newport but the Dragons had other ideas and threw a spanner in the works right from the start. It was also a red letter day for teenager Steffan Jones, drafted in from Cross Keys to cover for the Dragons' crisis at fullback.
The scoring star in the Welsh Premiership went over for a debut try on seven minutes when he burst through a gap in the Blues' defence between fullback Dan Fish and lock Bradley Davies to dive over in the corner. And he grabbed a late penalty from 50 metres which helped to deny the Blues a losing bonus point.
Jones' early try reclaimed the lead for the Dragons after fly-half Dan Parks had landed the first points of the afternoon with a penalty.
On 14 minutes, Dragons wing Aled Brew created a slice of history. His 16th try of the season came after a cross-kick from stand-off Jason Tovey was beaten down by six-foot-nine-inch lock Luke Charteris into the Wales international's hands for an easy run-in from five metres.
That try meant Brew broke the record for the most tries by any player since Welsh rugby went regional. The feisty nature of the match saw New Zealand No.8 Xavier Rush and Dragons flanker Gavin Thomas trade punches during a midfield brawl, but the only action taken by referee James Jones was a stiff word with both captains.
Tovey kicked the Dragons further into the lead but, when home lock Adam Jones was sent to the sin-bin for preventing the ball from coming out of a ruck on his line, the Blues got back into the match.
Flanker Sam Warburton immediately grabbed a try following a pick-up and drive by Rush at an attacking scrum and, after the break, the No.8 went over after replacement lock Deiniol Jones set-up a driving maul from a line-out five metres out.
That levelled matters at 15-15 as the Blues took advantage of a lacklustre return to the field by the Dragons and the Cardiff outfit looked favourites to win. But they lost the momentum and, despite dominating the scrums, they could not get over the line again.
The Dragons re-took the lead when a line-out within metres of the Blues' line saw Charteris take the throw and he helped his pack drive replacement back-rower Andrew Coombs over for a converted try. That made it 22-15 but Steffan Jones' booming 50-metre penalty gave the Dragons a 10-point gap.
And scrum-half Wayne Evans put the cherry on the cake for the home side with a drop-goal from 10 metres right at the death.
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