Cardiff come from behind to beat Dragons
PRO14 REPORT: Cardiff Blues scored five second-half tries to grab a bonus point 43-29 victory over Welsh rivals Dragons.
The Dragons burst out of the blocks with first half tries from Adam Warren, Elliot Dee and George Gasson with Kristian Dacey getting the only reply for the Blues.
Matthew Morgan closed the gap to 21-17 at the start of the second half with Tom James, Alex Cuthbert, Jarrod Evans tries putting them ahead and in control.
Replacement Morgan added a sixth try at the death but there was still time for Lloyd Fairbrother to grab a try bonus point for the visitors from close range.
Winger Warren was on the end of a lovely backs move to score the Dragons first after just three minutes with Henson adding the extras.
Taufa’ao Filise was shown a yellow card for a high tackle in the build-up but that didn’t stop the Blues coming straight back into the game through Dacey.
It was the hooker’s 20th score for Cardiff Blues on his 70th start and with Evans knocking over the conversion the scores were level after nine minutes.
The Dragons though bounced straight back with Dee going over for his fourth try of the Guinness PRO14 season.
Evans responded with a penalty but a piece of individual brilliance from Tyler Morgan extended the Dragons lead, the outside centre offloading to George Gasson to dot down.
Henson’s third successful conversion gave the Dragons a 21-10 lead at half-time.
The Blues brought them right back into the match early in the second half as a long pass from Evans found Matthew Morgan who dived over with the fly-half converting.
But when the hosts were penalised by referee Nigel Owens at the scrum, Henson stepped up and made the score 24-17 to the Dragons from the tee.
Tom James then burst through a tiring Dragons defence for his 43rd try for the Blues on the hour mark to make it 24-22 but Evans missed the opportunity to level the scores.
Josh Navidi then grabbed an interception and looked to be away for a try only for Dragons’ Morgan to make an superb scrambling tackle and deny him the score.
The Blues weren’t to be denied for long though as Cuthbert muscled his way over for the hosts’ first try bonus point of the season and the lead for the first time in the match.
Evans then found space in midfield to burst through for the Blues’ fifth before Morgan added the icing on the cake after an excellent quick tap penalty from Tomos Williams.
Fairbrother forced his way over from close range to secure the try bonus point for the Dragons.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries:Dacey, Morgan 2, James, Cuthbert, Evans
Cons: Evans 5
Tries:Warren, Dee, Gasson, Fairbrother
Cons: Henson 3
Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhun Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Tom James, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams (captain), 8 Nick Williams, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Brad Thyer.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Keiron Assiratti, 19 James Down, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Matthew Morgan.
Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 James Benjamin, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 James Thomas, 5 Cory Hill (captain), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Leon Brown, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Joe Davies, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Owain Leonard, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Will Talbot-Davies.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)