Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Dragons breathe fire on Blues

Aled Brew

The Welsh region to contest this season's Magners League play-offs will go down to the final weekend after Cardiff Blues fell to a 28-15 defeat at Newport Gwent Dragons.

The Blues' failure to take anything, even a losing bonus point, from their delayed Boxing Day derby with the Dragons means they stay just one point ahead of the Ospreys in fourth place.

And, with the top four contesting the play-offs, the tension will be high next weekend as the Blues face another tough Welsh derby at The Scarlets while the Ospreys will be going all-out for a bonus-point win at basement side Aironi.

The Blues wanted to wrap things up at Newport but the Dragons had other ideas and threw a spanner in the works right from the start.

It was also a red letter day for teenager Steffan Jones, drafted in from Cross Keys to cover for the Dragons' crisis at full-back. The scoring star in the Welsh Premiership went over for a debut try on seven minutes when he burst through a gap in the Blues' defence between full-back Dan Fish and lock Bradley Davies to dive over in the corner.

And he grabbed a late penalty from 50 metres which helped to deny the Blues a losing bonus point. Jones' early try reclaimed the lead for the Dragons after outside-half Dan Parks had landed the first points of the afternoon with a penalty.

In the 14th minutes, Dragons wing Aled Brew created a slice of history. His 16th try of the season came after a cross-kick from stand-off Jason Tovey was beaten down by lock Luke Charteris into the Wales international's hands for an easy run-in from five metres. That try meant Brew broke the record for the most tries by any player since Welsh rugby went regional.

Flanker Sam Warburton and number eight Xavier Rush scored the Blues' tries, while replacement back-rower Andrew Coombs went over for the Dragons' final try with 15 minutes to play.

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