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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 April, 2004, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Dragons 48-25 Blues
Jason Forster crossed for two tries
Dragons (13) 48
Tries: Forster (2), Brew (2), Montgomery, Marinos
Cons: Montgomery (6)
Pens: Montgomery (2)
Blues (10) 25
Tries: M Williams, Shanklin (2), J Robinson
Con: N Robinson
Pen: N Robinson
Att: 6,055
The Dragons maintained their Celtic League challenge with a crushing win over the Blues at Rodney Parade.

The visitors had early success with tries from Martyn Williams and Tom Shanklin, but try braces from Jason Forster and Nathan Brew swung it.

As the Blues chased the game, tries followed for Percy Montgomery and Andy Marinos, the former kicking superbly to finish with a 28-point haul.

Jamie Robinson and Tom Shanklin got consolation tries to secure a bonus.

That leaves the Cardiff side seven points behind the Ospreys with three games to go in the race for the final Welsh Heineken Cup spot for next season.

Indiscipline from the Dragons early in the game gave the Blues field position for Williams to crash over for the opening score from a short-range line-out.

They came here with a fantastic back line, but we scored six tries
Jason Forster
Craig Quinnell was sin-binned for coming in at the side of a maul, but the visitors took advantage of turnover ball on their 22 for the second try.

Shanklin hacked forward, out-sprinted Montgomery and controlled the ball for a fine long-range score.

The Wales threequarter blew a great chance to extend the Blues' lead, though, dropping a scoring pass after excellent work from Iestyn Harris and Rhys Williams.

Two Montgomery penalties had kept the home side in touch, and with half-time approaching scrum-half Gareth Baber sniped from a maul to send the supporting Forster in under the posts.

Nine minutes into the second period, a Craig Warlow chip over the defence fell fortunately to Brew who claimed his first try.

He doubled that tally with a superb effort down the right wing, slipping Shanklin's tackle before stepping past the covering defence of Harris and Rhys Williams.

Forster secured the bonus point for the Dragons after excellent build-up work from Warlow, Marinos and Sione Tuipulotu, before Jamie Robinson caught the home side on the hop down the right wing.

With the Blues recklessly chasing tries, simple scores were conceded to Montgomery and Marinos.

But Shanklin's strike with the final move of the game salvaged a bonus point that could prove crucial in the battle for Europe.

"We had to go out to prove a lot of points," said Dragons flanker Jason Forster. "They came here with a fantastic back line, but we scored six tries.

"People underestimate us at their peril, they've been doing it all season, but we get on quietly with our job and are now there challenging for the title."

Dragons: S Tuipulotu, N Brew, P Montgomery, A Marinos (capt), H Luscombe, C Warlow, G Baber, A Black, K Crawford, C Anthony, I Gough, P Sidoli, B Skinstad, J Forster, M Owen.

Replacements: B Breeze, L Jarvis, R Jones, Robinson, R Snow, R Thomas, J Ringer.

Blues: R Williams, T Shanklin, J Robinson, I Harris, C Morgan, N Robinson, R Powell, J Yapp, R Thomas, B Evans, C Quinnell, J Brownrigg, D Baugh, M Williams, N Thomas.

Replacements: D Crompton, A Lewis, H Senekal, R Sowden-Taylor, D Dewdney, A Moore, M Allen.

Referee: Olan Trevor (Ireland).



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