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OTD: Dragons strike late to deny Italians

10/05/2020

We look back in the archives to the 2013/14 season when Dragons edged out Benetton Rugby on the final day of the season on home soil…

Dragons 20 Benetton Rugby 19

A late penalty from fly half Jason Tovey secured a deserved one-point victory for the Dragons in an entertaining final game of the league season against Benetton.

The Italians led 11-10 at the break courtesy of a try from Fabio Semenzato while Tyler Morgan scored for the hosts.

Will Harries's try – ahead more good work from Morgan - put Dragons ahead but Manoa Vosawai's try and Alberto di Bernardo's penalty restored Treviso's lead.

However, Tovey's late kick and nerve claimed the win as Benetton secured their European spot - victory for the Dragons ended a run of six defeats and a draw.

Tovey secured the first points of the evening, putting over a 30-metre penalty, but the visitors had the better possession and territory for the first twenty minutes.

Benetton were powerful up front and they scored when Semenzato fooled the home side as he picked up at a ruck and went down the blindside to dive over.

Dragons were then reduced to 14 men when Harries was sent to the sin-bin midway through the half for interference at a ruck.

Fly-half Di Bernardo extended the Benetton lead to 8-3 with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts on 24 minutes.

However, the Dragons responded and young centre Morgan turned on a superb piece of magic on the half-hour to get them back into the game.

The 18-year-old took a ball in midfield forty metres before embarking on a powerful run which ended in him scoring near the posts and giving Tovey an easy conversion.

Two further mistakes by the home side saw Di Bernardo land a further penalty and Benetton were ahead at the interval.

Another piece of magic from Morgan saw Dragons get a second try of the game, the youngster booting the ball down the left for Harries to chase and dive over for a converted score.

Benetton refused to roll over and, after they gained territory onto the home line, lock Marco Fuser took a good line-out ball and fed Vosawai who sneaked over on the blindside.

When home flanker Lewis Evans was sin-binned, Di Bernardo gave Benetton the lead again with a mid-range penalty.

But they blew their chances of victory by giving away a penalty 30 metres out that Tovey landed to hand his side a well-deserved win.

Dragons: Hallam Amos, Tom Prydie, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Will Harries, Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Phil Price, T. Rhys Thomas, Duncan Bell, Andrew Coombs (c), Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Sam Parry, Owen Evans, Bruce Douglas, Rob Sidoli, Jevon Groves, Jonathan Evans, Kris Burton, Tyler Morgan.

Benetton: Luke McLean, Ludovico Nitoglia, Michele Campagnaro, Alberto Sgarbi, Angelo Esposito, Alberto Di Bernardo, Fabio Semenzato; Manoa Vosawai, Paul Derbyshire, Christian Loamanu, Marco Fuser, Antonio Pavanello (Captain) Lorenzo Cittadini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Alberto De Marchi

Replacements: Giovanni Maistri, Matteo Muccignat, Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Valerio Bernabo, Dean Budd, Andrea Pratichetti, James Ambrosini, Mat Berquist

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)

Jason Tovey secured a deserved one-point victory for the Dragons in an entertaining final game of the league season against Benetton...
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