Both touchlines were packed for this eagerly awaited cup semi final. Cardiff asserted themselves early on with their pack providing quick ruck ball and within a minute they moved the ball blind to release full back James Williams to score under the posts. Converted by Dafydd Manley. From the kick off Cardiff again tried to move blind but the excellent Newport defence forced a Cardiff error and the Newport winger did not need a second invitation to pick up and run in from 20 yards out. From the restart, further pressure from the Newport side allowed the ball to be moved freely along the back line. Although Cardiff displayed a resilient defence, Newport capitalized on a very well worked overlap to make the score 12 - 7 to Newport at halftime.
With Newport in control, and the larger Cardiff pack under pressure in the heat a tactical change was needed. Highly effective and well executed pick and drives forced Newport to defend around the blind side, and when the home side pack began to struggle the back line were forced to commit to defend the fringes. Cardiff saw the opportunity to spread the ball wide and Regan Mahony was put into space to score out wide, making the scores level at 12 points a piece.
With Newport again trying to run the ball from deep, a misjudged bounce was picked up by Cardiff wing Rafel Actie who showed his pace to race in and secure a win for Cardiff. Final score Cardiff 17 - Newport 12. A game worthy of any final. Full credit to both sides for an outstanding game of rugby.
Cardiff will now face Swansea in the DC Thomas Cup final
Tickets are on sale NOW for our huge opening Guinness Pro 12 fixture of the season against Glasgow Warriors - and we've frozen match ticket prices this season so watching top-class rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is affordable to all!
Impressive Cardiff Blues pushed English powerhouse side Leicester Tigers all the way with an hugely encouraging performance as final preparations for the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at Welford Road.