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Cardiff Blues vs Gwent Dragons



Blues: Ben Blair; Rhys Williams, Tom Shanklin, Marc Stcherbina, Chris Czekaj; Nicky Robinson, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Williams, Gary Powell, Deiniol Jones, Robert Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Xavier Rush (capt).
Replacements: Scott Roberts, T Rhys Thomas, Bradley Davies, Mark Lewis, Martyn Williams, Wayne Evans, Jamie Robinson.

Dragons: Kevin Morgan (capt); Gareth Wyatt, Gareth Maule, Phil Dolman, Richard Fussell; Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Cooper; Dai Maddocks, Ben Daly, Rhys Thomas, Andrew Hall, Luke Charteris, Joe Bearman, Jamie Ringer, Michael Owen.
Replacements: Adam Black, Dan Lydiatt, Ian Gough, Richard Wilkes, Martin Thomas, Aled Thomas, Alex Walker.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRFU).

Half time score: Blues 17 - 3 Dragons

The Dragons will be disappointed to be 2 tries down especially as they were the only time in the first 20 minutes of the first half. They had flair and great handling skills. The game was free and open, but there was structure to it.
One mistake led to a Mike Phillips try and they began to get flustered.
Blues play the slow and steady game they always play, very lateral, nothing special, but they kept the pressure on the dragons who began finding the pressure getting to them as they couldn't convert chances into tries.
Blues pounced again to get a second try after Dragons suffered a player to the sin bin.
By the end of the second half Dragons lacked any sense of direction and were simply running in circles (literally) as Cardiff just held their defence and played sensibly.

Dragons have got a lot of work to do to get back into this match.
Cardiff ended the game with 4 tries and the crucial bonus point.
I was about to get ready to say that with great surprise Nigel Owens didn't make a mistake all game but of course, because he was so good throughout the whole game he had to mkae up for it with a glaring error that will potentially deicde to whom the league ***le goes.
He claimed Mike Phillips had scored a try whereas in slow motion replay it was made clear (to me) that he in fact lost control of the ball whilst touching it down. That try was the 4th, they scored no more after it and effectively gave the Blues the bonus point they were itching for.
I wonder if that point will be crucial come the end of the season.Because it definately will come down to the wire - down to the very last game.
Leinster and Ospreys fans will not be happy with that refereeing decision.

Xavier Rush got man of the match, and he was a great asset to the team, but i believe the catalyst and finisher on 2 occasions, Mike Phillips deserved to get the award. Had it not been for Phillips, no one else would have scored the first try, no one else would have caused chaos throughout and there was no bigger contribution to the game than his.

Intriguing thought as well, that maybe Mike Phillips helped take the ***le away from the team he is moving to next season.

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