Newport Gwent Dragons make History……again

This Season has seen the Dragons be the first team to beat Stade Francais in Paris, do the double over Stade and win for the first time on English soil in a European competition.

To add to all of these achievements Leinster suffered their first home defeat since March 2013, at the hand of the resilient Men of Gwent.

The Dragons received two yellow cards in the first half, but a try from Leach and faultless kicking performance from Tom Prydie saw the Region take a historic first win in Dublin.

Physical from the outset, Dragons newbie number 8 Nick Crosswell was shown a yellow card after lengthy discussions between the match officials following his reaction to an off the ball incident. Being a man down however, appeared not to hamper the Dragons as after 10 minutes, centre Pat Leach on only his second game back from injury, powered over the whitewash after a subtle offload from outside half Dorian Jones, converted by Prydie the Dragons lead by seven points.

Gopparth was successful with his first shot at goal after 16minutes, and within ten minutes got his second after T Rhys Thomas received the Dragons second yellow card for not rolling away. Leinster looked to be on the fight back, when the Dragons were awarded a penalty just before half time, Tom Prydie converted with ease making the score 10-6 to the visitors. The Dragons went close to scoring a second try after a period of pressure inside the Leinster 22 but the missed opportunity meant the Dragon’s lead remained at 4 points as the half time whistle blew.

The second half saw the men in Blue mount a spirited fight back but the Dragons excellent defence matched the intensity of Leinster’s attack. Luke McGrath did cross in the corner off a scrum, only for the effort to be deemed a knock on by referee Ben Whitehouse. Leinster went close again after a break from powerful Centre Ben T’eo, but a superb tackle by scrum half Jonathan Evans meant that Luke Fitzgerald lost control and once again the referee deemed a knock on.

Leinster struck with a penalty from the boot of Gopperth on 53 minutes. This was cancelled out following a period pressure from the Dragons as Prydie slotted another 3 points for the Men of Gwent, too re-establish a 4 point lead.

Full back Kearney crossed for Leinster’s only try of the game after a kick neatly put through by scrum half John Cooney. This put Leinster ahead for the first time in the game. The lead lasted for just 4 minutes however, with Prydie once again adding to his total tally of 11 points, with a penalty kick.

The home team threw everything at the Dragons in the last ten minutes but were unable to breach the Men of Gwent’s impressive defence. The Dragons closed the game out by holding on to the ball for a twenty phase period that ensured they completed a hard earned, victory for only the second time ever, on Irish soil.

The Dragons again face Irish opposition on Sunday when they take on Connacht at Rodney Parade, Kick off 16:00. To purchase tickets please contact the Ticket Office on 01633 670 690.
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