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Newport Gwent D'gons

  • Falatau,
    Penalty goals: Tovey (5),
    Conversions: Tovey,
22 - 16

Cardiff Blues

  • Dacey,
    Penalty goals: Halfpenny (3),
    Conversions: Halfpenny,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 26th Dec 2013
  • KO 17:00
  • Ground: Rodney Parade, Newport
  • Att: 8,526

RaboDirect Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons see off Cardiff Blues

Last updated: 26th December 2013  

Leigh Halfpenny Cardiff Blues

Leigh Halfpenny: Cardiff Blues full-back kicked 11 points in losing cause

Toby Faletau scoring for Dragons

Toby Faletau: No 8 scored Newport Gwent Dragons' only try

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Newport Gwent Dragons earned their first home win over rivals Cardiff Blues since March 2012 in the Boxing Day fixture at Rodney Parade.

Dragons outside-half Jason Tovey enjoyed a perfect day with the boot, landing five penalties and converting No 8 Toby Faletau's first-half try to give the Dragons a 22-16 victory.

The Blues were their own worst enemies at times as errors in the second half, during their best period of the match, meant that they failed to add a further try to the effort of hooker Kristian Dacey, which full-back Leigh Halfpenny converted. Halfpenny also added a penalty before the interval and two more after the break.

However, there were concerns for Wales national coach Warren Gatland ahead of the build-up to the RBS Six Nations when rising star wing Hallam Amos was helped off the pitch with a leg injury.

The result takes the Dragons to sixth place in the table with their fifth win of the campaign, while the Blues have now suffered seven defeats and lay in ninth, just behind the Scarlets and the lowest ranked of the Welsh regions in the league.

Rematch

There will be a chance for the Blues, who took a losing bonus point, to gain revenge on New Year's Day when the teams have a rematch at Cardiff Arms Park but this clash saw the Dragons lay down the gauntlet from the start as they caused the Blues headaches throughout.

Tovey was the centre of attention for two reasons in the early stages as he kicked the first points of the match via a 40-metre penalty and then was the victim of a possible dangerous tackle when opposite number Rhys Patchell grabbed him and turned the Dragons' half-back horizontal before laying him on the ground. The home crowd demanded a yellow card but referee Ian Davies disagreed.

Then came a piece of magic from Faletau and his front row colleagues from a line-out on the Blues 10 metre line. Faletau stood at the scrum-half position as hooker Rhys Thomas, playing against his former region, looked to throw long.

The Blues took the bait, retreated backwards at the front of the line-out and opened a hole. Thomas fed loosehead prop Nathan Buck to pass to the Wales number eight who raced through the gap and roared over the line.

Faletau was immense as the Dragons tried to pour on the agony but finally Blues captain Sam Hobbs rallied his troops into action, paying off when a ruck on the right saw scrum-half Lloyd Williams feed the ball inside to centre Dafydd Hewitt.

A great slight of hand sent Dacey charging past the home defence and over the line for a try which Halfpenny converted.

Halfpenny landed a penalty either side of the break to put the Blues into a 13-10 lead but they lost number eight Robin Copeland to the sin-bin for 10 minutes near the hour and gave Tovey too many kickable penalties that he gratefully took and steer his side to 22-13.

Halfpenny added another penalty for a perfect four out of four kicking performance, keeping his side in sight of the win.

But a combination of stern Dragons defence and handling errors when inside the home 22 saw the Blues' efforts come to nothing.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - August 29 2014
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 0 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 5th September
Guinness PRO12
19:35Munster vs Edinburgh
19:35Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 6th September
14:40Scarlets vs Ulster
17:00Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Glasgow vs Leinster
Sunday 7th September
17:00Zebre vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 12th September
19:35Ulster vs Zebre
19:35Edinburgh vs Connacht
19:35Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys
20:00Benetton Treviso vs Munster
Saturday 13th September
14:40Leinster vs Scarlets
Sunday 14th September
16:00Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow
Friday 19th September
19:30Munster vs Zebre
19:35Connacht vs Leinster
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Ulster
Saturday 20th September
TBCScarlets vs Benetton Treviso
14:40Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow
Sunday 21st September
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
Saturday 27th September
16:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh

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