Patchell boots Blues to muddy win

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 16:14
Large rhys patchell cardiff Large lou reed Large alex cuthbert cardiff blues Large andries pretorius cardiff b

Four penalties from Rhys Patchell were enough to give Cardiff Blues a vital 12-10 Pro12 win over the Dragons.

Four penalties from Rhys Patchell were enough to give Cardiff Blues a vital 12-10 Pro12 win over Newport Gwent Dragons in a derby clash at the Arms Park on Wednesday.

The Dragons managed the game's only try from Andy Tuilagi, but were made to pay for their inability to turn pressure into points as the Blues moved up to seventh in the table.

Despite the Dragons dominating the first half it was nine points from Patchell which put the Blues in front as the visitors failed to get points on the board.

The perfect start to the second half saw Tuilagi score the game's only try, and Wayne Evans add a conversion and a penalty to put his team in front, only for Patchell to slot his fourth penalty of the day.

And despite near-total possession of the ball in the latter stages, the Dragons found the Blues' defensive wall, as well as the sodden conditions which saw both sides finish caked in mud, too big an obstacle to overcome.

The visitors dominated the opening half in terms of both possession and territory but when it came to putting points on the board the Blues showed a much more clinical edge.

With the rain coming down, and the pitch very heavy underfoot, running rugby was at a premium, and with more than 70 percent possession and territory the Dragons would have expected to go in ahead at half-time.

Instead it was the accurate boot of Patchell that allowed the Blues to stretch into a lead, the young flyhalf slotting three penalties in the space a quarter of an hour to put his team 9-0 up after 30 minutes.

The Dragons' frustration at Patchell's success was compounded by the difficulties their own place kicker Dan Evans was having in the conditions, missing two shots at goal as the Blues kept their visitors scoreless in the first 40 minutes.

Clearly Darren Edwards' team needed to score first in the second half, and they did just that when Dan Evans showed his goalkicking troubles weren't affecting the rest of the game with a perfectly-timed pass for Tuilagi.

When the powerful Samoan centre collected at full pace running at Harry Robinson, the diminutive wing was never going to stop him. Tuilagi then showed all his power to battle through a couple of desperate Blues players to dot the ball down. Wayne Evans, taking over the kicking duties converted to bring the visitors back to within two points.

And while Patchell had been nigh on faultless in the first half, he decided against a clearing kick in Blues territory taking the ball on instead and was penalised for holding on after getting isolated.

Wayne Evans again made no mistake to but the Dragons into the lead for the first time in the game and pile the pressure back on the home side with 20 minutes remaining.

However Patchell bounced back immediately, taking advantage of the Dragons going offside from the restart to slot his fourth penalty and put the Blues back in front.

The Dragons were clearly in the ascendancy however, and after five minutes of concerted pressure deep in Blues territory they had the chance to go back in front, only for Lewis Robling's drop goal effort to skew wide.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Pens:
Patchell 4

For Newport Gwent Dragons:
Try:
Tuilagi
Con: W Evans
Pen: Robling

Teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (captain), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Robin Copeland, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Ceri Sweene, 23 Richard Smith.

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon .

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies, Wayne Davies (both Wales)
TMO: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 10 10 0 0 48
Munster 10 7 0 3 36
Cheetahs 10 6 0 4 29
Cardiff Blues 10 4 0 6 19
Connacht 10 3 0 7 18
Zebre 10 3 0 7 16
Ospreys 10 2 0 8 11
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 10 8 0 2 40
Leinster 10 8 0 2 37
Ulster 10 7 1 2 35
Edinburgh 10 6 0 4 28
Treviso 10 3 0 7 15
Dragons 10 2 1 7 13
Kings 10 0 0 10 4