22 - 7HT 10 - 7

Rodney Parade
Att 4,096
Fri 16 Dec 16, 7:30pm

REPORT | Newport Gwent Dragons 22-7 Warriors

Warriors couldn’t claim back-to-back victories over Newport Gwent Dragons as they went down to a 22-7 European Challenge Cup defeat on a cold night at Rodney Parade.

The match came to life within seconds as Connor Braid chased his own kick before diving over the line to give his side the lead.

But the Dragons were level after seven minutes as scrum-half Tavis Knoyle touched down before Sam Vesty’s side were reduced to 14 men as Sam Betty was red carded.

Warriors battled hard as their resilient defence ensured they turned around just three points behind.

But the Dragons dominated proceedings after the break and tries from Tyler Morgan and Sam Hobbs were enough to see the Dragons leap above Warriors in the Pool 3 table.

Vesty made three changes to the side which defeated the Dragons at Sixways last time out as Ryan Bower, Mike Daniels and Marco Mama all returned to the starting line-up.

And Warriors found themselves ahead after just 90 seconds as Braid kicked a loose ball forward before outpacing the home defence.

The Canada international reached the ball first and kicked it into the in-goal area, before sliding over the line to dot the ball down before it went out of play. The fly-half then converted as Warriors racked-up a 7-0 lead.

The game was an open affair from the very start and the Dragons soon had their first try of the evening after full-back Rhys Jones made a superb break forward.

The ball was eventually recycled, allowing scrum-half Knoyle to leap over the line before Angus O’Brien converted to draw the sides level.

Warriors were enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the early exchanges but were dealt a huge blow when Betty was dismissed just before the halfway stage of the first-half.

O’Brien soon gave the hosts’ the lead for the first time of the night with a well-struck penalty after missing one moments earlier.

The accuracy was lacking as both sides fumbled the ball forward on a string of occasions and neither side could find the upper hand.

But with a man disadvantage Warriors were very much holding their own in a very hostile environment.

The visitors proved resilient as the Dragons launched one final attack before the break but O’Brien’s drop goal attempt drifted wide on the stroke of half-time.

The start of the second period was a cagey affair as the Dragons looked to make the most of their one-man advantage.

And replacement Morgan stretched his side’s lead as he dived over in the corner following a fine individual run.

The Dragons soon had a third as prop Hobbs forced his way over from close range before O’Brien converted as the hosts went 22-7 up.

The game was being played at a frantic pace and Warriors were finding it difficult to cope with the Dragons threat.

And the home side thought they had a fourth when Adam Warren touched down, only for the referee to disallow the try following a knock-on.

Warren went close again five minutes before the end but Warriors repelled the home side to ensure they couldn’t claim a bonus point.

Warriors| 15 Josh Adams, 14 Ben Howard, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Ryan Mills (C), 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Connor Braid, 9 George de Cothi, 1 Ryan Bower (Appiah 66), 2 Jack Singleton (Williams 66), 3 Mike Daniels (Schonert 66), 4 Will Spencer (Kitchener 61), 5 Christian Scotland-Williamson (Hewitt 66), 6 Sam Betty, 7 Marco Mama (Taylor 61), 8 Matt Cox (Ripper-Smith 76)

Replacements |16 Matti Williams, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Huw Taylor, 21 Charlie Hewitt, 22 Sam Ripper-Smith, 23 Jamie Shillcock

2m | Braid try 0-5
3m | Braid con 0-7
7m | Knoyle try 5-7
8m | O’Brien con 7-7
25m | O’Brien pen 10-7
52m | Morgan try 15-7
57m | Hobbs try 20-7
58m | O’Brien con 22-7

Competition: European Rugby Challenge Cup
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: David Wilkinson
Game Type: Away
Fixture Round:
Attendance: 4,096
No. Name T C D P
15 Geraint Rhys Jones
14 Tom Prydie
13 Sam Beard
12 Adam Warren
11 Ashton Hewitt
10 Angus O'Brien 2C 1P
9 Tavis Knoyle 1T
1 Sam Hobbs 1T
2 Elliott Dee
3 Lloyd Fairbrother
4 Matthew Screech
5 Rynard Landman
6 Nick Crosswell
7 Ollie Griffiths
8 Lewis Evans
16 Rhys Buckley
17 Phil Price
18 Leon Brown
19 Joe Davies
20 Harri Keddie
21 Sarel Pretorius
22 Tyler Morgan 1T
23 James Benjamin