DRAGONS 16 23 GLASGOW
By David Wilkinson
The Dragons hosted Glasgow in their final Heineken Cup game of the season in a match where only pride was to play for as the Men of Gwent looked to avoid their first European white wash.
The home side came into the game on the back of a spirited performance in Toulouse, while Glasgow had notched up an impressive win over Wasps.
As the game started Glasgow enjoyed a period of sustained pressure but were unable to break through the organised defence. Ruaridh Jackson slotted over a 40 metre penalty to give the visitors an early lead.
The Dragons came to life following the penalty and following a promising attack Jason Tovey dropped a goal to level the scores. From there it was the Dragons who looked the more likely to take the lead.
After a promising attack, the ball reached Aled Brew who was in space but was met by a wall of white shirts, he looked to have powered his way over but the score was denied after consulting the video ref. This did not deter the Dragons as they continued to press, moments later Brew crossed the line again but his try was ruled out as the referee deemed the pass from Tovey to be forward.
Despite the continued pressure from the Dragons it was Glasgow who took the lead through the boot of Jackson as he slotted another long-range penalty, Tovey however, cancelled this out moments later through a penalty of his own as the teams went into the interval all square.
The second half started much like the first with the Dragons on the attack, Tovey slotted another penalty as the Dragons took the lead for the first time in the game. Their lead was increased moments later as they surged up-field Pat Leach, who had been brought on to replace Tom Riley, chipped a head and Aled Brew won the race to touch the ball down in the far corner. The video ref was once again asked to check the score but this time, much to the joy of Brew and the Rodney Parade faithful, it was awarded. Tovey slotted the conversion making the score 16-6.
The Dragons were looking to press home their advantage but were penalised off the resulting kick-off, their defence held firm but were soon penalised again for another infringement. This time the defence was breached as scrum-half Gregor dummied from a ruck and dived over the line. Following another consultation with the video referee it was given, Jackson missed the kick as the scores remained 16-11.
The Dragons looked shell shocked and moments later scores were level as DTH van de Merwde touched down following a Gregor quick tap the flying winger out-paced the defence to score. Once again the video referee was involved but again awarded the try to the Warriors, despite some valiant scramble defence. Jackson missed with a seemingly simple conversion but the visitors were in the ascendancy
The Dragons pressed, Pat Leach produced a fine break up- field which unfortunately came to nothing as the home side looked to win the game. However, it was Glasgow who produced the final score through DTH van der Merwde, the wing brushed aside some weak defence to score under the posts, Gregor converted leaving the scores at 16-23 to Glasgow with seven minutes to go.
The Dragons pressed for a draw but were unable to break through the Glasgow defence, referee John Paul Doyle blew his whistle bringing to an end a promising yet ultimately disappointing European campaign.
Newport Gwent Dragons (6) 16
Try: Aled Brew Con: Tovey Pens: Tovey 2 Drop-goals: Tovey
Glasgow Warriors (6) 23
Tries: Gregor, van der Merwe 2 Con: Gregor Pens: Jackson 2
Newport-Gwent Dragons: Harries, Hughes, Riley, Smith, A. Brew, Tovey, W. Evans, Price, Willis, Castle, Charteris, Sidoli, Lydiate, G. Thomas, Faletau.
Replacements: Leach for Riley (37), M. Jones for Tovey (76), S. Jones for Willis (56), Morgan for Sidoli (61), L. Evans for Lydiate (75). Not Used: Robinson, Palmer, Leadbeater.
Glasgow: Stortoni, Shaw, Aramburu, Murchie, van der Merwe, Jackson, Gregor, Welsh, Hall, Low, Muldowney, Kellock, Harley, Vernon, Wilson.
Replacements: Pyrgos for Stortoni (60), Horne for Aramburu (47), Grant for Welsh (47), Thomson for Hall (46), Tkachuk for Low (62), Fusaro for Harley (61), Burke for Vernon (78). Not Used: O'Hare.
Referee: John Paul Doyle (RFU).