In-form Warriors secure big victory
Chris Coleman grabbed a late try bonus point as Dragons ended the second block with a 42-28 defeat to in-form Glasgow Warriors in the BKT United Rugby Championship at Rodney Parade.
The Warriors – already on an eight-match winning run in all competitions – flew out of the traps with wing Cole Forbes and Fraser Brown scoring inside the opening ten minutes.
Dragons hit back with Rhodri Williams and Sio Tomkinson drawing the teams level.
But a second try from Brown via a driving maul and score from Duncan Weir on the stroke of half-time wrapped up the bonus point.
Coleman had the final word as his try with the final play snatched a point for the Men of Gwent.
Stafford McDowall and Taine Basham exchanged tries at the start of the second period before a late intercept score from Sebastian Cancelliere wrapped up the win.
Head Coach Dai Flanagan made nine changes to his starting line-up with JJ Hanrahan, Tomkinson, Sam Davies and Jack Dixon among those to return. Hooker Brodie Coghlan also made his first start.
Glasgow struck after less than two minutes as visiting skipper Stafford McDowall made a line break and clever inside run from Forbes sent him away and under the sticks for the converted score.
It went from bad to worse on eight minutes as a succession of penalties saw the Warriors march up field before the Scots kicked to the corner and drove the maul over, with Fraser Brown scoring.
Dragons needed a response and went close as Jack Dixon cut a superb line, but as quick hands were needed the ball went to ground.
Jordan William then sent Rhodri Williams into space down the middle before more patient play was rewarded as captain Williams dived over from close range to cut the lead in half.
Moments later we were all level as Tomkinson flew up in defence and picked off a stray pass in midfield to race in unopposed.
Glasgow, though, were back in front at the midpoint of the half as another driving maul saw Brown touch down for his second of the game, after a lengthy consultation with the TMO.
Dragons were working hard to stay in the game, but Glasgow were looking to the corner whenever possible and another penalty, for a late tackle, allowed them to attack once more.
Great work at the breakdown from Rhodri Jones and Tomkinson forced a penalty in the shadow on the posts just as Glasgow looked menacing.
Hooker Coghlan was yellow carded for a late hit on Ali Price, after the referee consulted the TMO, and the visitors made the numerical advantage count on the stroke of half-time through Weir’s try.
Ben Fry came on for Nott at the break and carried strongly three times to try and give the hosts some go forward.
Glasgow looked to pick up where they left off with giant second row Lewis Bean picking up and stretching over only for his try to be chalked off by the TMO.
But the reprieve was only temporary as McDowall weaved his way over to extend the lead to 35-14.
Dragons looked for a foothold and way into the second half, with a penalty allowing Hanrahan to go to the corner hunting a third home score.
The move paid dividends as Coghlan did well to keep the drive alive before Basham bulldozed over with Carter adding weight on his shoulder. Hanrahan converted.
The try seemed to invigorate Dragons as they went about their work with big carries and patience to force another penalty and a scrum under the Glasgow posts.
The Scots, though, held firm and forced the mistake as a lofted pass found touch and the attack was over.
Glasgow threatened again with wing Sebastian Cancelliere brushing off tackles, but a retreating Steff Hughes was back to pick off the offload.
A late surge saw Tomkinson rattle into contact down the right wing and replacement Huw Taylor carry strongly to force a penalty.
But the sting in the tail was to be from Glasgow as Cancelliere intercepted close to his own line and raced away.
Dragons snatched a try bonus point with the final play as Coleman dived over for this first try for the club.
02m Forbes t Weir c 0-7
08m Brown t Weir c 0-14
16m R. Williams t Hanrahan c 7-14
19m Tomkinson t Hanrahan c 14-14
22m Brown t Weir c 14-21
40m Weir t Weir c 14-28
48m McDowall t Weir c 14-35
57m Basham t Hanrahan c 21-35
74m Cancelliere t Jordan c 21-42
80m Coleman t Hanrahan c 28-42
Dragons RFC: Jordan Williams (Davies 65), Jared Rosser (Hughes 49), Sio Tomkinson, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams (L. Jones 71), Rhodri Jones (Seiuli 49), Brodie Coghlan (Benjamin 71), Lloyd Fairbrother (Coleman 49), Matthew Screech, Ben Carter, George Nott (Fry 40 (Benjamin 42-49)), Sean Lonsdale (Taylor 71), Taine Basham
Replacements: James Benjamin, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Huw Taylor, Ben Fry, Lewis Jones, Sam Davies, Steff Hughes
Glasgow Warriors: Josh McKay, Sebastian Cancelliere, Stafford McDowall, Sam Johnson, Cole Forbes, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan, Lewis Bean, JP du Preez, Thomas Gordon, Sione Vailanu, Jack Dempsey
Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Nathan McBeth, Lucio Sordoni, Alex Samuel, Euan Ferrie, Cameron Neild, Jamie Dobie, Tom Jordan
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 72nd league game)