A Dragons backline decimated by injury including a loan player in Ben John from the Ospreys meant that a result against the Warriors was always going to be a tough ask. The Warriors strong early form continued and they ended the game comfortable winners 33-13.
With less than 5 minutes on the clock Warriors danger man Niko Matawalu cut a superb pass to find Alex Dunbar on the angle, Dunbar found space in the Dragons defence and raced away for an early try which was to be converted by Duncan Weir.
Things tightened up a little for the remainder of the half with the first time centre pairing of Dorian Jones (a fly-half by trade) and Ben John, making a first start for the Dragons after signing on an emergency loan in the week, starting to create an understanding in defence. A trio of penalties, two from the Warriors from Duncan Weir and Stuart Hogg with one from Angus O’Brien brought the scores to 13-3 with the half time whistle nearing.
That wasn’t the final piece of action for the half though with the scrum coming under scrutiny from referee David Wilkinson. The scrum had come under question a few times already with Wilkinson unhappy with the delivery of the ball by Matawalu but this time, on 40 minutes, it was the Dragons Lloyd Fairbrother who was adjudged to have pulled the scrum down one too many times. Fairbrother would have an extended half time after being shown the yellow card for the second game running.
Things heated up right from the get go of the second half with the Hazell Terrace faithful baying for a card when Warriors flanker Tyrone Holmes made contact with TR Thomas in a ruck. Linesman Neil Hennessy flagged for foul play and the referee called upon the TMO for clarification, Holmes was given his marching orders, a red card for a stamp to the shoulder of the Dragons hooker while he lay on the floor.
So with the teams back on equal numbers, 14 players each, for the time being the Dragons won a penalty at scrum time with Brew joining the pack at flanker. O’Brien duly slotted the ball between the uprights to narrow the scores to 13-6. The seven point deficit was again stretched to ten when two minutes later Duncan Weir slotted another penalty of his own.
The Dragons were back to a full complement of 15 players on 50 minutes with the Dragons deciding to keep Dan Way on the pitch rather than bring Fairbrother back on. With a one man advantage over the Warriors for the remainder of the game the Dragons were hopeful of taking control of the game, however, a try from Warriors talisman Josh Strauss gave the Dragons hopes a blow. Weir successfully added the extras to push the away team onto 23 points.
The try seemed to waken the sleeping Dragons and they replied with a try of their own just 2 minutes later with Rees scoring with a pick and go on the try line, a position gained from a good break by captain for the day Rynard Landman. The conversion was added by O’Brien to pull the Dragons back into the game with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Dragons were looking to put more points on the board and add real pressure to the Warriors but an astute performance from Weir kept the home team at arm’s length with some sound game management keeping the Warriors in good field position and creating pressure of their own. Pressure that was made to count as Wing Tommy Seymour raced down the touchline outside Brew to score in the corner. Weir was unable to add the conversion as he missed his first kick of the day.
With the clock ticking down the Warriors were hungry for their fourth try and with it the all-important try scoring bonus point. And with three minutes remaining they got it, Tim Swinson claiming the try following a dominant Warriors driving maul off the lineout. Again Weir missed the chance to add the conversion as he struck the upright. 33-13 the final score in favour of a dominant Warriors team against an injury ravaged and inexperienced Dragons side.