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Newport Gwent Dragons record first win of season

Newport Gwent Dragons picked up their first Guinness PRO12 victory of the campaign with a 13-0 triumph over Zebre at Rodney Parade.

Dragons number eight Ed Jackson scored the only try of the match, while fly-half Jason Tovey converted it and added two penalties. All the points came in the first half.

It took half an hour for the game to get out of first gear as both teams made a series of handling errors and the only scoring of that period was a 40-metre Tovey penalty.

The closest either side came to a try was when Jackson raced towards the Zebre line early on but saw his pass out wide knocked on.

Zebre had patches of possession in the Dragons' half but the home defence held firm and added another three points through Tovey's boot moments after Zebre lock George Biagi was sent to the sin-bin for interference at a line-out.

The Dragons took full advantage of their extra man as they went over for a try.

Lock Rynard Landman caught a line-out ball on the Zebre 22 and the home pack twisted and turned a rolling maul towards the Zebre line and Jackson had the simplest job of touching down.

Tovey converted to make it 13-0 but the Dragons' concentration lapsed as half-time approached. Twice they conceded penalties but Italian fly-half Ulrich Beyers missed both opportunities.

But there was little to get the crowd enthused again for the opening 20 minutes of the second-half as the teams showed few glimpses of creativity.

Zebre centre Tommaso Castello had a dart through the Dragons' midfield just inside the home 22 but lacked support.

For a second time, Zebre found themselves down to 14 men with 10 minutes to go when number eight Andries Van Schalkwyk dangerously pulled down home lock Cory Hill at a line-out and was shown a yellow card.

It gave the Dragons a chance to gain the advantage again but an attack immediately after the card was knocked-on and the danger cleared by the Italians.


From Belfast Telegraph