Battling Dragons Scare Leinster at Rodney Parade


A battling Dragons performance scared defending champions Leinster at Rodney Parade with the visitors claiming a narrow 6-7 victory.

The Men if Gwent matched the Irish side’s physicality throughout the contest with an impressive defensive display.

But a first half try from number eight Max Deegan and a conversion from fly half Ross Byrne was enough for Leinster to see the game out in a low scoring affair.

Dragons responded with two penalties from fly half Sam Davies in the second half but they fell just short in their attempt to defeat Leinster at Rodney Parade for the first time since 2015.

It was a bright start from both sides as they looked to get a foothold early in the game.

But it was the visitors who slowly begun to get on top and continued to build pressure in Dragons territory.

The pressure eventually told as scrum half Lewis Jones was sent to the sin-bin for slowing the ball down illegally.

Moments later Leinster made the extra man count with Deegan powering his way over from close range, with Byrne adding the extras after fifteen minutes.

Minutes later it got worse for the home side as a yellow card for full back Josh Lewis saw the region down to 13 men.

But brilliant Dragons defence, which was the case all game, kept Leinster away and Dean Ryan’s men returned to a full fifteen without any more damage to the scoreboard.

Dragons had an opportunity just before half time thanks to a brilliant hit from centre Aneurin Owen, but Leinster stole the ball from the resulting line-out and that was the half with Leinster leading 0-7 at half time.

Leinster continued their pressure with plenty of possession and territory in the second half but once again the Dragons defence held firm and matched the physicality of the Irish.

The crowd begun to really get behind the Dragons and made their voices heard as the home side tried to narrow the deficit.

Sam Davies did just that with two penalties in quick succession the score was narrowed to just one point with fifteen minutes to go.

Leinster thought they had sealed victory with a try four minutes from time, but after a look from the TMO it was brought back for a knock on in the build up.

But the defending champions managed to hold out and leave Rodney Parade with a narrow victory to make it two wins from two for the Dublin based outfit.

While Dragons despite all their efforts suffer a second successive defeat despite claiming another losing bonus-point.

The Men of Gwent will be hoping to grasp their first victory in Galway next weekend as they take on Connacht.

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