A try on the stroke of half-time from Patrick Leach proved pivotal as the Dragons edged out Connacht 14-3 on Friday.
A try on the stroke of half-time from Patrick Leach proved pivotal as the Dragons edged out Connacht 14-3 in their Pro12 clash on Friday.
The result provided welcome relief for the Welsh outfit, who headed into the encounter on the back of a torrid run of form, while it proved a frustrating evening for Connacht, who'd beaten Treviso a week earlier.
An inconspicuous start to the game saw defences dominate and just three points scored in the opening 25 minutes.
Dan Parks' early penalty had put Connacht in front but the visitors demonstrated little to suggest they were capable of building on their lead.
The sin-binning of Jason Harris-Wright on 25 minutes paved the way for the Dragons to level the scores through a Tom Prydie penalty, and then, after Connacht were reduced to 11 when Andrew Browne was shown a yellow card, the Dragons were able to cross for the game's only try.
After Prydie had missed the opportunity to put the hosts in front, Leach showed great determination to turn a period of Dragons pressure into five points, though the conversion was missed meaning there was little between the teams at half-time.
The game was far from settled as the team's re-entered the field, though a quick-fire brace of penalties from Prydie early in the second period increased the hosts' lead.
Connacht enjoyed the lion's share of territory in the final quarter of the match, though they were unable to turn it into points and, despite seeing Lewis Evans dispatched to the sin-bin on 67 minutes, the Dragons held on to see out the victory.
Pens: Brown, Prydie 2
Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Dan Way, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon.
Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (c), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 David Moore, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matt Healy.
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)