Dragons v Cardiff Blues - Derby Day


By Craig Muncey
October 5 2018

First Welsh derbies of the new season. Can Cardiff Blues earn a victory over our East Wales rivals, the Dragons? Here are my thoughts on the game tomorrow following the announcement of the two sides. 

Dragons v Cardiff Blues

Here are my thoughts on the two sides and my predicted outcome. First of all the Dragons.

This is the matchday 23 selected:

Dragons

15. Jordan Williams

14. Dafydd Howells

13. Adam Warren

12. Jarryd Sage

11. Jared Rosser

10. Josh Lewis

9. Rhodri Williams

1. Brok Harris

2. Elliot Dee

3. Leon Brown

4. Brandon Nansen

5. Cory Hill (c)

6. Aaron Wainwright

7. Ollie Griffiths

8. Ross Moriarty

Bench

R Hibbard, R Bevington, A Jarvis, H Taylor, N Cudd, T Knoyle, T Morgan, W Talbot- Davies

My Thoughts

Forward pack looks strong, no doubt they will look to get the upper hand in the tight. Set pieces will be very interesting. I like the Dragons back row a lot, there is a good balance with the playing styles of the trio, and no doubt Cardiff Blues will need to be a lot stronger with their first up defence. Dragons have some strong ball carriers in their ranks.

The back line is less known, but players such as Rosser, Warren, Sage who would not have been the first choice at the start of the season have really stepped up and played well, Warren in particular. The half-backs will be seriously tested. Williams at 9 has been steady but after last week's performance, I am somewhat surprised that Knoyle was not given the nod. At 10, Lewis has been decent in parts but has yet to show complete assurance at this level. 

Their bench in the forwards have a lot of experience in the main, and no doubt will look t come on and make a positive impact, the second-row cover may be an issue but we shall see. With Lewis at 10 and with Robson injured the person who will cover 10 is Jordan Williams, which puts even more pressure on Lewis to get it right as no offence to Jordan Williams but he is not a 10 at this level.

Cardiff Blues

15. Matthew Morgan

14. Owen Lane

13. Rey Lee-Lo

12. Willis Halaholo

11. Jason Harries

10. Gareth Anscombe

9. Lloyd Williams

1. Brad Thyer

2. Kristian Dacey

3. Dmitri Arhip

4. George Earle

5. Josh Turnbull

6. Josh Navidi

7. Ellis Jenkins

8. Nick Williams

Bench

K Myhill, R Gill, D Lewis, M Cook, O Robinson, T Williams, J Evans, G Smith

Thoughts

In the large majority, John Mulvihill has paid faith in the players who gained a victory last week against Munster in an impressive performance. As mentioned above the pack will be seriously tested by the Dragons, so the inclusion of Thyer, Arhip and Williams back into the side for their scrummaging and physicality makes sense. I do worry about the lineout, as we seem a bit short in that area, so we will need to be clinical in this area, as I see Dragons competing on our ball and on their ball using Wainwright and Moriarty a lot. 

The back line, I believe we have a real edge there over the opposition and in particular in the half-backs controlling matters. But as always half-backs can only get back moves going and have time to do this if we get the right platform.

The bench in the forwards we look similarly strong to the Dragons, and we hope Macauley Cook can have the same impact he did last week when he was excellent off the bench. The backs also are very good player and in Williams and Evans if we need to step up the pace of the game are more than capable of doing that.

Prediction

Going to be a great atmosphere tomorrow and both teams will be eager to put one over on their rivals. Dragons pack do worry me slightly as mentioned above, but I do think if we get parity and we can use our half-backs wisely then Cardiff Blues should have enough to gain the win.

What I do know though is that if the game involves a lot of loose kicking and the kick chase for both sides is poor with Jordan Williams and Matthew Morgan relishing those situations we could be in for a very exciting game.

Dragons 18 Cardiff Blues 28

pqs: qs:
Dragons v Cardiff Blues - Derby Day
Posted by: 1876 Cardiff Rugby (IP Logged)
Date: 05/10/2018 11:46

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Re: Dragons v Cardiff Blues - Derby Day
Posted by: NEIL CARDIFF (IP Logged)
Date: 06/10/2018 13:18

hopefully will be a cracker of a game cant see the blues getting beat

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