Lewis late show secures draw
Fly half Josh Lewis kicked a penalty two minutes from time as Dragons drew 18-18 with Isuzu Southern Kings in an entertaining Guinness PRO14 clash in Port Elizabeth.
Lewis held his nerve with time running out - after Leon Brown won a crucial penalty - as Dragons battled back for a share of the spoils at the NMU Madibaz Stadium.
However, Ceri Jones and his team will wonder what could have been after a Rhodri Williams try was also disallowed in the second half for a forward pass.
Centre Adam Warren had given Dragons the perfect start with a third minute score before Kings hit back with two quick-fire tries to edge the first half.
The Kings went further ahead before a superb solo effort from replacement Jordan Williams put Dragons within three points.
With both teams down to 13 men, Rhodri Williams had celebrations cut short before Lewis nudged over the late kick in blustery conditions to ensure the points were shared.
On a sunny and windy day in South Africa, the Kings looked to make a quick start, but a big early turnover from lock Max Williams stole ball and gave Dragons possession.
A kick in behind from Zane Kirchner was collected by wing Jared Rosser but he was ankle tapped just as he looked to break away.
However, Dragons did not have to wait long for the opening try as a chip in behind from Lewis bounced kindly for Hallam Amos who fed Warren to dive into the corner.
A quick free kick from the alert Taine Basham looked to give Dragons more front foot ball before Lewis produced a stunning long range kick to pin the Kings back.
Fly half Lewis extended the lead with a penalty, after Kings were penalised for a neck roll clear out, before the home side hit back in devastating fashion.
Scrum half Stefan Ungerer dived over bodies at the ruck to score and then, just three minutes later, turned provider as his grubber kick bounced up for Bjorn Basson to scorch over.
Dragons, with the wind in their faces, had chances to hit back as the impressive Warren broke from deep and glided past men before Amos kicked in behind.
A five-metre lineout was then driven right up to the line before Dragons lost possession and with it a huge opportunity.
A counter-attack from deep saw Rosser race down the flank and feed Rhodri Williams, but after the ball was sped though the hands of Jack Dixon and Lewis the attack broke down.
Dragons inability to take opportunities proved costly as home No.10 Bader Pretorius extended the lead with a penalty before the break.
A penalty at the start of the second half for not rolling away gave Dragons an early attacking platform as Lewis kicked to the corner.
A powerful lineout drive was just stopped short of the line before Basham was inches from scoring and Hibbard was held up.
Play then swung downfield and Kings grabbed a third try of the afternoon as the ball found Klaasen who spotted a gap and burst over.
Dragons hit back with the try of the game as Jordan Williams danced past tackles to score a sublime solo effort.
Both men lost a front row forward, as the referee Murphy yellow carded Brown and Tshakweni, before Jordan Williams again darted away and looked to be dragged back without the ball.
Dragons went down to 13 men as prop Lloyd Fairbrother was yellow carded for a tackle not using the arms at the clear-out.
But he was soon followed by Makase who was sin-binned for clattering Jordan Williams as he took a high ball.
Dragons had a try controversially chalked off as Dixon fed Amos with a looping pass and he released Rhodri Williams to score. However, referee Murphy disallowed the score for a forward pass after consulting the TMO.
A tense final quarter saw the home side look to run the clock down before late drama as Brown won the penalty and Lewis did the rest.
03m Warren t 0-5
12m Lewis p 0-8
16m Ungerer t 5-8
19m Basson t 10-8
33m Pretorius p 13-8
52m Klaasen t 18-8
57m J.Williams t Lewis c 18-15
78m Lewis p 18-18
Isuzu Southern Kings: Masixole Banda (Beyers 54), Michael Makase, Harlon Klaasen, Tertius Kruger (Klaasen 41), Bjorn Basson, Bader Pretorius, Stefan Ungerer (R Van Rooyen 57), Schalk Ferreira (Tshakweni 52 (Ntsila 70)), Michael Willemse (A Van Rooyen 41), De-Jay Terblanche (Scholtz 52), Dries van Schalkwyk, John-Charles Astle (Greef 63), Andisa Ntsila (Ferreira 58), Martinus Burger (De Wit 65), Ruaan Lerm
Replacements: Alandre Van Rooyen, Alulutho Tshakweni, Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Greeff, Stephan De Wit, Rudi Van Rooyen, Berton Klaasen, Ulrich Beyers
Dragons Rugby: Zane Kirchner (Harris 65), Jared Rosser (J. Williams 53), Adam Warren, Jack Dixon (Tovey 72), Hallam Amos, Josh Lewis, Rhodri Williams (Knoyle 70); Brok Harris (Bevington 50), Richard Hibbard (Lawrence 53), Leon Brown, Max Williams (Taylor 70), Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham (Fairbrother 59), Ross Moriarty
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Ryan Bevington, Lloyd Fairbrother, Huw Taylor, Lennon Greggains, Tavis Knoyle, Jason Tovey, Jordan Williams
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 23rd competition game)