Cardiff Claim Emphatic Boxing Day Win Over Dragons

 

Cardiff extended their impressive winning run over local rivals Dragons to 18 league games by handing out a 55-21 Boxing Day thrashing at a sold-out Arms Park.

A superb first-half display by Cardiff saw bottom-club Dragons completely out-gunned as the hosts established a 45-7 interval lead.

The second half was a more even affair but Cardiff still finished the game with nine points and an emphatic 55-21 victory.

Rhys Carre, Tomos Williams and James Botham each scored two tries with Ben Thomas, Kieron Assiratti and Cam Winnett also touching down. Tinus de Beer added five conversions.

Harri Keddie scored two tries for the Dragons, both of which Cai Evans converted, while the visitors were also awarded a penalty try.

It took Cardiff less than three minutes to open the scoring when Carre finished off a succession of forward drives by crashing over.

However, the Dragons were soon level when a break from Aneurin Owen split the home defence with Keddie up in support to score.

The whirlwind start to the game continued with a third try in the first 10 minutes. Ashton Hewitt failed to deal with an up and under which allowed Ray Lee-Lo and Mason Grady to make ground down the right flank before Carre was on hand for his second score of the afternoon.

Cardiff extended that lead when Thomas powered through a weak tackle from Taine Basham before a strong run from Teddy Williams gave Tomos Williams a simple walk-in and the hosts had their bonus point inside only 18 minutes.

Dragons’ woes continued when Botham forced his way over from close range for two tries in quick succession before Tomos Williams beat two defenders for his second score after Lee-Lo’s elusive run had put the defence on the back foot.

Seven tries in the first half equalled the United Rugby Championship record with De Beer taking his tally to five conversions for a 45-7 interval lead.

Dragons made three changes at half-time but the tide was not stemmed as Assiratti trundled past a weak tackle from Rhodri Williams to take the home side past 50 points.

Keddie responded with his second try before the visitors were awarded a penalty try for the hosts collapsing a line-out drive, with replacement prop Rhys Litterick sin-binned.

Cardiff took off a number of their leading lights but they still had the final say when Grady’s burst sent Winnett over to complete the try-scoring.

Scorers:
Cardiff Rugby: Tries: Rhys Carre (2), Ben Thomas, Teddy Williams (2), James Botham (2), Keiron Assiratti, Carn Winnett. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (5).
Dragons RFC: Tries: Harri Keddie (2), Penalty Try. Conversions: Cai Evans (2).

Teams:
Cardiff RFC: 15 Cam Winnett, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Mason Grady, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Mackenzie Martin, 7 James Botham, 6 Alex Mann, 5 Teddy Williams, 4 Rory Thornton, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Liam Belcher (c), 1 Rhys Carre. Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Rhys Litterick, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Lucas de la Rua, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb.
Dragons RFC: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Steff Hughes (c), 12 Aneurin Owen, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Cai Evans, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Harri Keddie, 5 George Nott, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Bradley Roberts, 1 Rhodri Jones. Replacements: 16 James Benjamin, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Sean Lonsdale, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Will Reed, 23 Jared Rosser.