Brilliant Dragons defeat Glasgow
A brilliant second half performance from Dragons saw them claim a 26-17 victory over Glasgow Warriors at the Principality Stadium.
Second half tries from Jordan Williams and Matthew Screech - plus 16 points from the boot of Sam Davies, who went six for six off the tee - gave the home side an important four points in the quest for fourth place, putting them level with the Warriors.
Glasgow managed tries from the returning Fraser Brown and a brilliant solo effort from wing Rufus McLean, plus seven points from Adam Hastings but it was enough for the Scottish side as they leave Wales with no points.
The result means the Dragons have completed the double over Glasgow this season and it is all to play for in the race for fourth place as we take on Edinburgh at the Principality Stadium next weekend and Glasgow face Benetton.
The game started nervously with both teams trying to win the kicking battle and figure each other out.
But it was the Dragons who took first blood with Davies knocking over his first penalty of the game to give the home side a three-point lead.
Dragons then lost flanker Ollie Griffiths to injury early in the contest and his replacement Ben Fry was quickly into the action as he saw yellow with a no arms tackle after 13 minutes.
The home side’s lead didn’t last too long with Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown, who was making his return after a lengthy spell out with injury, bundling his way over from the back of the driving maul. Hastings who played at 15 for the Warriors instead of his usual 10 spot added the conversion.
But the Dragons bounced straight back and Davies added his second penalty of the game to narrow the lead to just the one point after the opening quarter, this time a Hastings high tackle on Ashton Hewitt, which quickly saw him sent to the sin bin.
Davies made it three from three on the half hour mark to put the home side back into the lead, with Glasgow’s indiscipline letting them down throughout the contest.
Argentinian scrum half Gonzalo Bertranou looked to have scored his first try in the Dragons jersey, with a quick thinking tap and go seeing him crash over in the corner. But the try was ruled out by the referee for a knock on in the process.
Glasgow scored their second of the game from nowhere as winger Rufus McLean picked up a loose ball in his own 22m before sprinting 80 metres to score a fantastic solo effort in the corner just before half time.
Hastings added the conversion plus three more on the stroke of half time to send the visitors into half time with a 9-17 lead.
But it was the Dragons who took control of the game after the break scoring 17 unanswered points in the second 40 minutes with a brilliant attacking display to coincide with a monumental defensive effort.
The home side had their second try of the game chalked off, as Nick Tompkins powered his way over from close range, only to be denied due to Ross Moriarty being penalised for obstructing two Glasgow players, but it didn’t take long for Dragons to add to the scoreboard.
Davies added his fourth penalty of the game before Jordan Williams, a late starter due to an injury for Josh Lewis in the warm-up, scored a vintage try, running a fantastic angle to spot the gap and side step his way over the try line. Thanks to Davies conversion the home side regained the lead at 19-17 with the final quarter to go.
Glasgow captain Ryan Wilson was sent to the sin-bin as the Dragons turned it up a notch and just under five minutes later lock Matthew Screech went over for a rare score, after some fantastic phase play. Davies maintained and finished the game with a 100% record off the tee making it six from six with the conversion and sealing a very important Dragons victory.
There was still time for Glasgow to at least get a losing bonus point and the Dragons even went down to 14 men as Rhodri Williams was sent to the sin-bin.
But the Dragons defence were unbreakable and Glasgow just could not get past the monumental defensive effort from the home side.
Dean Ryan will be proud of his side’s performance at Principality Stadium with a 26-17 victory meaning his side host Edinburgh next week with it all to play for.
06m Davies p 3-0
14m Brown t Hastings c 3-7
18m Davies p 6-7
29m Davies p 9-7
36m McLean t Hastings c 9-14
40m Hastings p 9-17
51m Davies p 12-17
61m J. Williams t Davies c 19-17
66m Screech t Davies p 26-17
Dragons: Jordan Williams, Jonah Holmes, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts (Tompkins 16), Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou (R. Williams 62); Brok Harris (Reynolds 76), Richard Hibbard, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies (Carter 62), Matthew Screech, Harrison Keddie, Ollie Griffiths (Fry 10), Ross Moriarty
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Ben Carter, Ben Fry, Rhodri Williams, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer
Glasgow Warriors: Adam Hastings, Rufus McLean, Nick Grigg, Robbie Fergusson, Lee Jones, Ross Thompson, Sean Kennedy; Aki Seiuli, Fraser Brown, Enrique Pieretto, Richie Gray, Kiran McDonald, Rob Harley, Thomas Gordon, Ryan Wilson (CAPT)
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Dylan Evans, D’arcy Rae, Leone Nakarawa, Fotu Lokotui, Jamie Dobie, Pete Horne, Ollie Smith.