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Sam Beard scores two tries as Newport Gwent Dragons win

Published 18/11/2016

Newport Gwent Dragons were the victors at Rodney Parade
Newport Gwent Dragons were the victors at Rodney Parade

Newport Gwent Dragons secured derby bragging rights with a 36-21 victory against the Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Rodney Parade.

Tries by centre Sam Beard (2), lock Nick Crosswell, full-back Carl Meyer and flanker Harrison Keddie secured a bonus point success for the home side.

The Scarlets led 16-10 at half-time but the match turned on a red card for flanker Jack Condy after an off-the-ball incident five minutes after the restart.

The west Wales side scored tries through hooker Dafydd Hughes and wing Corey Baldwin but were always up against it when reduced to 14.

The hosts responded to a 42-3 hammering at Leicester to ensure they will be in the mix for the semi-finals when the tournament returns in the new year, staying in touch with Northampton and Saracens in Pool One, while the Scarlets failed to build on their excellent victory against Bath as they hunt down the Tigers in Pool Four.

The Dragons may be the lowest-ranked Welsh region but they headed into the game as favourites despite not having beaten the Scarlets in over three years.

Yet it was the Scarlets who dominated the early proceedings with fly-half Dan Jones pulling the strings and punishing Dragons offences with a pair of penalties.

He traded penalties with opposite number Angus O'Brien before the hosts, who had struggled to get their game going, struck for the first try on the half hour.

Strong carrying by the forwards was followed by a snipe by their fly-half, who then offloaded to put Beard over the line before adding the conversion for a 10-9 lead.

However, the Scarlets got their noses in front 16-10 at half-time thanks to a patient attack following a chip over the Dragons defence with the forwards hammering away on the line before Hughes went over, Jones adding the conversion.

Condy was dismissed in the opening stages of the second half and the Dragons immediately gained the initiative.

They went close when denied by a foot in touch before captain Crosswell powered over from close range after a driving lineout, O'Brien's fine conversion from the right earning a 17-16 lead.

It got better for the hosts when the fly-half's attempted kick through ricocheted into full-back Meyer's hands and he raced over for a converted try.

The 14 men from Llanelli showed spirit to get back into the game after 63 minutes when Baldwin's unconverted try, after a chip over the top, made it 24-21 but hopes of a stunning win were swiftly ended by flanker Keddie's close-range score.

The Dragons kept pressing and had the final say when Beard wriggled over after a scrum 10 metres out, Arwel Robson adding the extras.

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