Cardiff Blues 12 Newport Gwent Dragons 10

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons were desperately unlucky to lose today’s derby clash with fierce rivals Cardiff Blues which leaves next season’s Heineken Cup qualification hopes in tatters for the Gwent region.

The visitors were by far the better side at Cardiff Arms Park in a fiercely contested match played in a mud bath, the conditions atrocious after heavy rain.

The Dragons dominated the first half but trailed 9-0 at the interval after Blues outside half Rhys Patchell slotted over three penalties.

The Gwent region had the better of the second 40 but started to convert pressure into points, fine centre Andy Tuilagi’s try converted by outside half Dan Evans.

Replacement stand off Lewis Robling kicked a penalty to put the Dragons 10-9 up but that lead was short lived because Patchell’s fourth successful shot at goal nosed them ahead.

Superbly led by blindside flanker Lewis Evans, ably supported by excellent number eight Toby Faletau, the Dragons hammered away at the Blues' try-line but to no avail.

A late drop goal attempt by Robling from short range went agonisingly wide for the Dragons and they were left to rue what might have been.

The Blues were delighted with their hard-fought win which sees them complete a league double over Darren Edwards’ men after their 16-5 triumph at Rodney Parade in September.