Patchell keeps his nerve in the rain for Cardiff

Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 00:00

Cardiff Blues 12 Newport Dragons 10:Cardiff Blues moved up to seventh place in the RaboDirect Pro 12 table with a hard-fought victory in this east Wales derby at the Arms Park mud bath yesterday.

The Blues were under the cosh for much of the match, but pulled through thanks to four penalties from teenage outhalf Rhys Patchell. The Dragons claimed the only try of the contest through centre Andy Tuilagi but were left to rue other missed chances during a game played in appalling conditions.

Despite playing into the wind and driving rain, it was the visitors had the better of the first half with their set-pieces on top. But they were unable to convert that pressure into points, with outhalf Dan Evans missing three penalty kicks.

In contrast, the Blues were to take their chances when they came with Patchell kicking three penalties in the first half as the rain turned torrential midway through the first-half to put his team 9-0 ahead at the break.

The Dragons now had the elements in their favour and Tuilagi soon scored the opening try of the game for the visitors on 48 minutes, taking a short pass and taking two players to the line with him. Wayne Evans added the conversion and replacement at outhalf, Lewis Robling, put the Dragons ahead for the first time on the hour mark. However Patchell promptly landed his fourth penalty, making light of the wind in his face.

And, despite piling on the pressure, the Dragons were unable to conjure up the winning score with Robley wide with a late drop-goal attempt.

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