DRAGONS DOWN EDINBURGH
By Joe Crocker
DRAGONS 21 EDINBURGH 10
For the second time in a fortnight a Scottish team came to Wales lacking the necessary polish to finish off games; Edinburgh like its national side showed plenty of huff and puff but the net result was never really in doubt at Rodney Parade on Saturday evening.
The visitors took an early lead when Phil Godman kicked a penalty within the first two minutes. Things threatened to get worse when Gavin Thomas, who was making his 100th league appearance, was binned for handling in the ruck.
But to their credit the Dragons showed the better attacking intent - once they settled - and were rewarded with two penalties that Jason Tovey cooly slotted between the posts.
The Dragons were further aided on the return of Thomas from the bin when lock Sean Cox was sent in the opposite direction when he was binned for coming in from the side of a ruck.
With the extra player the Dragons continued to forage deep in Edinburgh territory and following some high-tempo phases from the forwards which generated quick ball, scrum half Joe Bedford dived over to score his first RaboDirect PRO12 try.
As confidence began to flow the Dragons began to turn the screw on a very well organised Edinburgh defence. A couple great breaks by Andy Tuilagi kept the Scottish side on the back foot and some quick ball from Bedford and Martyn Thomas looked to have put Aled Brew in the corner on his 100th appearance but his pass was ruled forward.
The second half lacked the intensity of the first and it wasn't until mid way through that the first points were scored when Tovey kicked another penalty to increase the Dragons' lead to 21-3.
This prompted Edinburgh into action and after some end-to-end play and the usual disruption of mass-substitutions, Grant Gilchrist managed to find a way to the line despite some good Dragons defence.
It was all in all a good performance by the Dragons against a well drilled Edinburgh side but errors need to be sorted out before more progress can be made.