Cardiff Blues Under-18s saw their unbeaten record in the Regional Championships this season end as impressive Newport Gwent Dragons Under-18s secured a 33-16 victory in difficult conditions at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday night.
Wing Teri Morgan Gee scored a classy first half try for Blues, yet it was the visitors who took control as they ruthlessly took advantage of home mistakes with a three-try burst putting them into a 25-13 lead.
An increasingly disjointed and stop start game never really gathered any momentum in the second half as a second try from visiting winger George Gasson wrapped up the away win.
Cardiff Blues will now look to respond on Sunday afternoon when they entertain RGC 1404 Under-18s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
The game kicked off in driving rain and swirling winds meaning handling was proving difficult for both teams in the opening exchanges.
A kicking duel broke out between fly halves Arwel Robson and Callum Hall, with Dragons taking a 6-3 lead after a physical opening 15 minutes.
Home full back Curtis Povey cut a neat line from deep to make big metres down the middle at the midpoint of the first half and Hall immediately kicked for the corner.
A huge driving maul saw Dragons shunted back 30 metres before it was hauled down short of the line and, from the resulting penalty, Hall drew the teams back level.
A poor restart, as the home side failed to take the kick-off, saw Blues hand Dragons a penalty close to the line and they also opted to kick to the corner.
Solid defence from the hosts forced a knock on to stop mounting danger. However, poor handling close to the line from the resulting scrum saw the ball spilled forward and Dragons swooped as play was fired down the line for Gasson to crash over.
A second try of the night soon followed as Blues were again punished as they turned over ball in their own 22 and slick visiting hands set hooker Ellis Shipp free and he dived over.
A swift response from the hosts saw wing Morgan Gee slice through to score under the posts to cut the lead back to 20-13.
The visiting tries continued to flow, though, as wing Lloyd Lewis raced in after handing off his man for a 25-13 lead at the break.
Fly half Hall ate into the lead at the start of the second half with a penalty, but the feat was soon repeated by Robson who pushed the advantage back out to 12 points.
Poor handling from Dragons did hand Blues a dangerous five-metre scrum and, from the next penalty, the chance to again drive for the line. And Blues had a try disallowed for offside at the ruck on 55 minutes.
A second try of the night from Gasson, as he showed his pace and power down the left wing, put Dragons into a commanding 33-16 lead and as the weather worsened it was the visitors who saw out the game.
03m Robson p 0-3
08m Hall p 3-3
13m Robson p 3-6
22m Hall p 6-6
24m Gasson t Robson c 6-13
29m Shipp t Robson c 6-20
32m Morgan-Gee t Hall c 13-20
35m Lewis t 13-25
37m Hall p 16-25
47m Robson p 16-28
57m Gasson t 16-33
Cardiff Blues Under-18s: 15 Curtis Povey, 14 Teri Morgan Gee, 13 Cameron Gibbon, 12 Declan Williams, 11 Kieron Gay, 10 Callum Hall, 9 Carl Lewis; 1 Corey Domachowski, 2 Gerwyn Coleman, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 4 Callum Haggett, 5 Callum Bradbury, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 7 Morgan Sieniawski, 8 Aled Ward
Replacements: 16 Rhys Carre, 17 Corey Tarrant, 18 Harry Dobbs, 19 Joe Gaughan, 20 Owen Jones, 21 Liam Free, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Jesse Lipetz Robic