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Angus O'Brien helps Newport Gwent Dragons to victory over Edinburgh

Published 27/11/2016

Carl Meyer was among the scorers for Newport Gwent Dragons
Carl Meyer was among the scorers for Newport Gwent Dragons

Angus O'Brien scored 17 points as Newport Gwent Dragons leapt over opponents Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12 table with a 27-19 victory at Rodney Parade.

Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones, though, will be fuming that they failed to get a try bonus point after scoring three in the first half.

Full-back Carl Meyer and prop Sam Hobbs scored two of the touchdowns with fly-half O'Brien adding another try plus two penalties and three conversions.

Edinburgh also scored three tries via number eight Nasi Manu, centre Chris Dean and replacement Viliame Mata.

The visitors went in front after 10 minutes when Manu was fed the ball in space on the right wing by lock Ben Toolis to go over, Jason Tovey adding the extras.

The home crowd then vented their displeasure at referee Frank Murphy when Edinburgh flanker Magnus Bradbury fell into O'Brien shoulder first, only for the official to warn the offender and give the Dragons a penalty that their fly-half stepped up to kick.

It was to be the start of O'Brien's points haul as the Welsh region raced into a 24-12 lead after half an hour.

Meyer put them in front for the first time when hooker Thomas Rhys Thomas stole the ball from a maul before Meyer was sent sprinting through the Edinburgh midfield for a great converted score.

And the Dragons extended their lead when Hobbs found a way past Edinburgh tight head prop Murray McCallum from two metres to ground the ball for another converted touchdown.

The Scotsmen were now 10 points behind but hit back as they reached the home side's try line with a neat switch move for Dean to score.

But the Dragons extended their lead again in a frenetic match which remarkably saw the first scrum called after 34 minutes.

Centre Sam Beard broke through the Edinburgh midfield 40 metres out and, on reaching the 22, put in a delicate grubber kick to the left corner before he was tackled by Tovey. O'Brien chased it and had an easy task to finish the converted score.

A great match, however, slid into mediocrity for 10 minutes after the break with a big delay to fix a touch judge's radio and other stoppages.

And, other than a few sparks of life, the clash began to lose momentum from the fizzing first half affair.

The Dragons had more of the second-half territory as they looked for their fourth touchdown and a much-needed bonus point.

A dazzling run from replacement scrum-half Sarel Pretorius raised a big cheer from the home crowd, but they could not break Edinburgh who were stubborn in defence but offered little attacking intent.

From a position of strength for the home side, one move, where replacement Sam Hidalgo-Clyne kicked Edinburgh to within 10 metres of the Dragons line, set the scene for the visitors to pull back to within a try as, moments after the kick, Mata surged over from five metres for a try, converted by Duncan Weir.

Edinburgh should have taken the lead when wing Damian Hoyland set off for a dash but the scoring pass to full-back Blair Kinghorn went astray.

But Edinburgh's hopes of at least a losing bonus point were snuffed out when they conceded a penalty with a minute to go that O'Brien sank to complete his points haul.

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