The Dragons got off to a solid start to their home season with a win over Glasgow Warriors. Following a great performance on the pitch by Newport rap group Goldie-looking Chain, the Dragons followed up with an 12-point margin of victory over the Scottish side.
With Tom Willis, Ben Castle and Joe Bearman late withdrawals from the side, the Men of Gwent saw several changes from the side that lost to Connacht last week, including league debuts from centre Pat Leach and fullback Matt Evans.
Lock Luke Charteris led the side for the second consecutive game.
The Dragons starter nervously with a knock-on from Tom Riley and 2 kicks for touch going out on the full as players adjusted to the pitch being slightly narrowed for the redevelopment works starting in January.
The Dragons lost fly half Jason Tovey after 9 minutes with a pulled hamstring and the pressure was on for replacement 10 Matthew Jones, but the men of Gwent pulled together and tries for Robin Sowden-Taylor and Aled Brew both picked up tries in the first half to go in at half time with 23-3 lead.
The second half saw 8 unanswered points for Glasgow as the Dragons lost their composure but the home side held out and clinched a crucial 23-11 victory.
Speaking after his 50th game for the Dragons, back row Danny Lydiate said:
“We played well in the first half but let things get away from us in the second 40. We did well to regain our composure towards the end but we need to work on being consistent for the full 80 minutes.
“We still missed a few first-up tackles in the second half and our ball handling wasn’t fantastic today. Having said that, we just have to erase a few errors and we will be a very dangerous side.
“We let Glasgow off a couple of times through unforced errors and although we came away with the win, we could have had more if we’d been more clinical. I think we showed a lot of character today, especially with the players who had to withdraw at the last minute and the loss of Jason [Tovey] so early in the game.
“I’m happy to have got 80 minutes under my belt but I felt my fitness could be better and and as that improves, I’ll be able to offer more to the team.
“The Blues next week will be a big test for us – they have a strong side and we still have a few problems to iron out.”