Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Dragons claim shock win

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones

Newport Gwent Dragons held on to secure a surprise 18-12 victory over Aviva Premiership high-flyers Gloucester in the LV= Cup.

The Welshmen held on in the dying seconds as Gloucester's pack tried in vain to push an attacking scrum over the line to grab a third try of the night.

But the Dragons managed to turn the ball over deep in their own 22 and in injury time to finish six points clear.

Buoyed by a surprise but welcome debut victory over the Ospreys at Swansea's Liberty Stadium last weekend, the home side took first blood against a Cherry and Whites' outfit brimming with international players.

With Gloucester pressurising on the Dragons' 22, wing Aled Brew, released for the game from the Welsh Autumn Test squad, created the opening points with a superb kick downfield. He followed that up by getting off the floor to tackle full-back Olly Morgan, yielding a richly deserved penalty for the wing which fly-half Matthew Jones landed.

Jones booted the Dragons into a six-point lead soon after but, with Gloucester's powerhouse pack led by former Newport favourite Peter Buxton, causing the home side problems in the set-pieces, the platform was there for the visitors to dominate.

Yet, the Dragons grabbed the first try - and it was a cracker. As the Cherry and Whites attacked through midfield, somehow the Welshmen turned them over and from 70 metres full-back Pat Leach stormed down the right touchline to link with wing Adam Hughes, who stormed over near the posts - making Jones' conversion simple.

However, after three wheeled scrums on the Dragons' line, referee James Jones decided the home team were deliberately preventing a pushover try and awarded a penalty try which fly-half Freddie Burns easily converted.

England wing Lesley Vainikolo went over in the right hand corner during the second half and the writing seemed to be on the wall. But the Dragons held on to their slender one-point lead for another 20 minutes and eventually got a rolling maul try when they pushed the visiting eight back over their own line, with flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor getting the congratulations from his team-mates.

Then came the Gloucester onslaught in injury time but the brave Welshmen would not yield and came through to hold out and win.

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