Tinus De Beer boots Cardiff to Welsh derby victory over Dragons
Cardiff won the first Welsh derby of the season with a hard-fought 16-9 United Rugby Championship victory over the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
In an attritional battle it was to left to Welsh international centre Mason Grady to score the only try of the game with Tinus De Beer adding three penalties and a conversion.
Three penalties from Angus O’Brien was Dragons’ response.
After a scrappy opening period, O’Brien had the first chance for points and he made no mistake with a 10th-minute penalty.
However Dragons soon suffered three blows in quick succession.
First Argentinean prop Rodrigo Martinez was forced to leave the field with an injury before De Beer kicked two simple penalties in quick succession to give his side a 6-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Dragons’ woes continued when flanker Sean Lonsdale departed with an eye injury and matters could have been even worse if Theo Cabanago and Grady had not fluffed the first try-scoring opportunity of the game.
Harrison Keddie became the third Dragons forward to leave the field before De Beer surprisingly missed with a straightforward penalty.
Dragons had not fired a shot in the opening half-hour and it came as no surprise when Cardiff extended their lead when O’Brien attempted chip was charged down to leave Grady with a 45-metre run to the line.
De Beer converted before O’Brien kicked his second penalty to leave Dragons trailing 13-6 at the interval.
Within two minutes of the restart, Dragons missed a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears. A well-judged kick from Dane Blacker should have been collected by Jarrod Rosser to score but the wing was too hesitant and the chance was blown.
De Beer missed a penalty and apart from Rosser’s near-miss that was as close as either side came to scoring in the third quarter.
With 15 minutes remaining, De Beer was successful with a 45-metre penalty to seal victory for Cardiff with O’Brien late effort securing his side a scarcely deserved bonus-point.
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