Tom Riley scored a try and Jason Tovey kicked 17 points as Dragons beat Ulster 22-9 at Rodney Parade on Friday.
Tom Riley scored a try and Jason Tovey kicked 17 points as Dragons beat Ulster 22-9 at Rodney Parade.
Tovey's deadly boot kicked the Dragons to only their second win of the season. The league's most accurate kicker landed six of his seven attempts at goal in a solid win over disappointing Ulster to boost his success rate to 90 percent for the season.
In a penalty-laden first half, the Dragons established a good advantage on the scoreboard, leading 19-6.
Thirteen of those points came while Nevin Spence was in the sin-bin for a high tackle on the Dragons' main dangerman, Tonderai Chavhanga.
The only try of the half was scored during that 10-minute period, with Tom Riley bursting through the gap left by Spence's departure following a line-out move.
A mazy run from impressive new signing Chavanga provided the best entertainment of a half otherwise dominated by the whistle of overly-officious Scottish referee, Neil Patterson.
Tovey landed four of his shots at goal from penalties and also converted Riley's try during the first period, while Paddy Jackson managed two from three before the break.
Tovey continued to punish Ulster indiscretions following the re-start, slotting over two more kicks before hitting the post in the final quarter to put a rare blot on his copybook.
Neither side created a clear-cut try-scoring opportunity in the second half until Ulster finally worked some space on the right flank with 13 minutes remaining.
Tiernan O'Halloran looked certain to score in at the corner but Tovey, who had been limping only moments earlier following an off-the-ball collision, got across brilliantly to force the winger's foot into touch.
Jackson also went close in the last play but Ulster ultimately failed to take anything from the game and return to Ireland pointless from their two match 'tour' of Wales having lost at Ospreys the previous weekend.
Pens: Tovey 5
Pens: Jackson 3
Yellow cards: Spence (Ulster – 46th min)
Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Andrew Coombs, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Tom Willis (capt), 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Kieron Jenkins, 19 Darren Waters, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Geraint O'Driscoll, 23 Matthew Jones.
Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Nevin Spence, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Chris Henry, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Jerry Cronin, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Declan Fitzpatrick.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ian Porter, 22 James McKinney, 23 Conor Gaston