Magners League: Dragons 16 Leinster 26
Jonathan Sexton inspired Leinster to a hard-fought win — taking them level on points in the Magners League with Ulster — over the Newport Gwent Dragons with a 16-point.
The Ireland fly-half slotted two conversions and four penalties as Leinster clung on for a first win at Rodney Parade in four years.
Former Ulster star Isaac Boss touched down in the first-half while official Andy Macpherson awarded a penalty-try in the second.
The Dragons scored through Adam Hughes and the boot of Jason Tovey but it was not enough to overcome the boys in Blue.
The win sees Leinster move back up to second, level on 55 points with Ulster and the Ospreys but with a superior points difference, although 12 points behind pace-setters Munster.
Coach Joe Schmidt said: “It's pretty suffocating up there but I'd rather be there than fourth and looking up. It's a real relief for us but there's still four more games to go.
“Jonny gives us a fair bit more than just the kicking game with his passing game as well and he defended really well.
“I'm just delighted with the result. It was a pretty flat performance from us and we lacked a bit of cohesion but thankfully we survived Newport and we know how tough that is.
“They've had a fair bit of rugby, with four games on the trot with pretty much the same team while we're trying to bring guys in.”
The win provided some good news in a weekend that saw Leinster lose promising fullback Niall Morris to Leicester.
The 22 year old has impressed in his recent outings with the province, but his opportunities have been limited and he signed a two year deal at Welford Road.