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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 20:50 GMT
Dominant Dragons sink Blues
MATCH SUMMARY
Sione Tuipulotu gets his and the Dragons' first try
Blues (10) 13
Tries: Abdul
Cons: N Robinson
Pens: N Robinson (2)
Dragons (13) 25
Tries: Tuipulotu (2), Luscombe, Forster
Cons: Warlow
Pens: Warlow
Att: 3,000
Blues 13-25 Dragons

The Dragons secured their first away win of the season and ended the Blues' unbeaten home record by running out 13-25 winners at the Arms Park.

A try apiece for Hal Luscombe and Jason Forster, as well as one in each half form full-back Sione Tuipulotu proved more than enough for the Dragons to seal a well deserved victory.

Lee Abdul scored the home side's only try, but he left the field in considerable pain mid-way through the second half after twisting his knee.

Blues scrum-half Ryan Powell had already left the field with a suspected broken ankle to add to Dai Young's ever mounting injury problems.

The Dragons constantly threatened to break clear, but were regularly denied by poor handling or dubious refereeing decisions.

Tuipulotu's first try arrived with a few seconds short of three minutes of the clock.

The visitors wrestled possession away from Blues scrum-half Ryan Powell on the half way line, and a neat chip kick from fly-half Craig Warlow put the defence on the back foot.

After the ball was released from the ruck, scrum-half Gareth Baber made a clean break in midfield and spun a perfect long pass out to the left which Tuipulotu took at pace to score under pressure.

Warlow missed the conversion, but he found the target with a penalty to reward his side's their early total dominance.

The Blues were indebted to the Dragons for their first points of the game when the visiting backs were needlessly penalised for crossing in midfield.

Nicky Robinson's kick closed the gap to 3-8; and a few minutes the Blues took the lead totally against the run of play.

Jason Forster produced an outstanding display
We've got strong belief and a lot of pride in the region
Dragons flanker Jason Forster
There was more than a touch of controversy surrounding the try when centre Nicky Robinson seemed to have knocked on in midfield.

But the expected whistle did not materialise and the Blues backs did not hesitate in making the most of their good fortune to create an overlap on the right wing to send Abdul over. Robinson converted.

The home fans were smiling again almost immediately when the Dragons were ironically denied a try from a marginal knock-on from Rhys Oakley.

And minutes before the break, Dragons flanker Jason Forster was again denied a try by an even more dubious decision, this time for a forward pass.

But the Blues' luck finally ran out when centre Luscombe spun off a forceful driving maul to score his side's second try in first half injury time.

Warlow's missed conversion meant the Dragons took a 10-13 lead into the second period.

The fly-half's kicking trouble continued immediately after the restart when he sliced a simple penalty attempt.

Luckily for Warlow, the Dragons forwards continued to dominate and their penetrating drives resulted in Tuipulotu diving over for his second try of the night.

Warlow this time made no mistake from the simple conversion straight in front of the post.

The Dragons put the result beyond doubt when Forster was finally rewarded for a fine individual display to score his fifth try of the season.

Warlow missed his third conversion, but his team-mates had already ensured that his wastefulness would not cost them dear.

Dragons prop Chris Anthony and Blues prop John Yapp were yellow carded in the third minute of injury time for scrummaging offences.


Blues: Donavan van Vuuren; Lee Abdul, Nick Walne, Jamie Robinson, Craig Morgan; Nick Robinson, Ryan Powell; Kenneth Fourie, Gareth Williams, Ben Evans, Jim Brownrigg, Andy Moore (capt), Rob Appleyard, Nathan Thomas, Robin Sowden-Taylor.
Replacements: John Yapp, Leyton Phillips, Dan McShane, Dan Baugh, Andrew Moore, Gareth McCarthy, Richard Jones.

Dragons: Sione Tuipulotu; Nathan Brew, Hal Luscombe, Steve Winn, Ben Breeze; Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Chris Anthony, Ian Gough, Peter Sidoli, Jamie Ringer, Jason Forster (capt), Rhys Oakley.
Replacements: Rhys Thomas, Paul Young, Luke Charteris, Shawn Van Rensburg, Gerald Arasa, Lee Jarvis, Bryan Shelbourne.

Referee: Gregg Davies (Scotland).




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