Dragons v Leinster Match Report
On a sunny afternoon, Leinster scored tries through Jamison Gibson-Park, a penalty score, Jordan Larmour, Dan Leavy and Cathal Marsh.
Dragons were awarded a penalty try of their own and Gavin Henson kicked three penalties, but Leo Cullen's men came out on top, mainly thanks to their dominant forward pack.
On a pristine new pitch at Rodney Parade, Leinster started sloppily. Sean Cronin overthrew the first line-out, and Henson put the home side ahead with an 11th minute penalty.
Ross Byrne soon levelled the scores up, but the first quarter showed Cullen's outfit were clearly in a game. It was a tight affair, but the opening score was then created by Isa Nacewa.
The Leinster skipper danced through a gap and though the ball was held up over the line, Gibson-Park picked the ball up from the back of the resulting scrum to dive over.
Byrne added the simple extras from in front of the posts and exchanged kicks with Henson to make it 13-6 at the break.
Revved up by Cullen, Leinster were a different animal after the break. Their forwards came to the party and quickly earned a penalty try after the Dragons sacked a driving maul.
Matthew Screech was yellow carded and the conversion was automatic. Then, five minutes later, Larmour was given an unopposed run to the line after finding the ball in space. Byrne couldn't add the extras. It failed to his the fact Leinster were now in control despite Henson's third penalty.
Leavy soon added the crucial fourth score with Byrne this time converting, and it opened up an entertaining final 15 minutes.
The Dragons got a consolation through a penalty score after Adam Byrne tackled a rampaging Ashton Hewitt high and received a yellow card.
Once again the extra two points were taken as a given, but Leinster had the last laugh with replacement Marsh diving over and converting his own score.