Edinburgh claim win in Newport
Dragons returned to United Rugby Championship action with a 30-14 defeat to high-flying Edinburgh at an ice cold Rodney Parade.
Fly half Sam Davies and wing Jonah Holmes grabbed tries on home soil as Dragons produced an impressive fightback after a slow start.
But it was the well-drilled visitors who took the spoils and climbed into the top three as Dean Ryan’s men continue to hunt a first success in Newport this season.
Edinburgh made a dream start to the fixture as a break in midfield allowed them to hack into space and Argentine full back Emiliano Boffelli – on his league debut – dived over to score after three minutes.
The home side were also dealt a further blow as dynamic back row Taine Basham, fresh from his eye-catching autumn exploits with Wales, was an early injury victim ater a head collision at a ruck.
Fellow back row Ollie Griffiths looked to spark the home side into life with a brilliant turnover penalty before the Number Eight stripped the ball as he looked to give Dragons some front foot ball.
But it was Edinburgh who were largely dominating territory in the opening quarter and who were rewarded once more when Ramiro Moyano touched down out wide.
Dragons finally came alive on 23 minutes as a sublime break and offload from Jordan Williams set skipper Keddie away and into open space.
The back row showed all his pace and power to draw the final man before neatly popping the pass inside on his right for Davies to dive over and then convert his own score to cut the lead.
A series of five-metre lineouts from Edinburgh saw them threaten again, but solid defence and two monster hits from Griffiths and Jack Dixon forced a knock on and a reprieve.
Joe Maksymiw was the next to rip the ball in the tackle to wrestle back some field position but Edinburgh, with fly half Kinghorn prominent, always looked a constant threat with ball in hand.
A penalty for offside, chasing a high up and under, gave Dragons a chance to strike again before the break and, after Taylor and Keddie punched holes to draw in the defence, the flat pass from Davies sent wing Holmes over for the lead.
A brilliant chop tackle from Taylor Davies drew huge cheers from the terraces before Jack Dixon become the latest Dragon forced off - with a nasty lookinh elbow injury.
And Edinburgh went back ahead three minutes before the break as another ball hacked through saw Moyano win the race to touch down for a 17-14 half-time lead.
Fit-again prop Leon Brown was introduced at the start of the second half for his first action of the season as the home side looked to assert some early dominance.
A kick ahead by Davies almost set Rio Dyer clear but the ball ran dead and instead it was Edinburgh who edged further ahead courtesy of a well struck penalty from Kinghorn.
Ryan’s men were enjoying more territory in the second period but a well drilled Edinburgh rearguard was proving hard to cut.
And when the Scots did get field position of their own they continued to add to the score with another Kinghorn penalty stretching the lead on 68 minutes.
A triple late change saw Jordon Olowofela, Josh Reynolds and Joe Davies introduced with just over ten minutes remaining to try and salvage something from a frustrating game.
But there was to be no grandstand finale as Edinburgh extinguished any threat before snatching a late bonus through Damien Hoyland.
03m Boffelli t Kinghorn c 0-7
20m Moyano t 0-12
23m Davies t Davies c 7-12
33m Holmes t Davies c 14-12
36m Moyano t 14-17
57m Kinghorn p 14-20
68m Kinghorn p 14-23
79m Hoyland t Kinghorn c 14-30
Dragons: Jordan Williams; Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon (Owen 35), Jamie Roberts, Rio Dyer (Olowofela 68); Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou; Greg Bateman (Reynolds 68), Taylor Davies (Shipp 58), Chris Coleman (Brown 40), Ben Carter (J .Davies 68), Joe Maksymiw, Harri Keddie (capt), Taine Basham (Taylor 3), Ollie Griffiths
Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Josh Reynolds, Leon Brown, Joe Davies, Huw Taylor, Dan Babos, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela
Edinburgh: Emiliano Boffelli; Damien Hoyland, Matt Currie, James Lang, Ramiro Moyano; Blair Kinghorn, Ben Vellacott (capt); Boan Venter, Adam McBurney, WP Nel, Marshall Sykes, Jamie Hodgson, Nick Haining, Luke Crosbie, Magnus Bradbury
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Harrison Courtney, Angus Williams, Connor Boyle, Ben Muncaster, Henry Pyrgos, Charlie Savala, Cammy Hutchison