Dragons opened up their RaboDirect PRO12 account with a comprehensive 37-6 four-try victory over Zebre at Rodney Parade on Friday.
Dragons opened their RaboDirect PRO12 account with a comprehensive 37-6 four-try victory over Zebre at Rodney Parade on Friday.
The Welsh region controlled the majority of the match and the game was effectively won by the break after tries from Andy Tuilagi, Will Harries and Dan Evans (twice) saw them open up a comfortable advantage at the interval.
Luciano Orquera responded with two first half penalties, but the Dragons strolled to victory with a Tom Prydie three-pointer the only score of the second period.
It was Zebre's first ever PRO12 encounter having replaced the defunct Aironi at the end of the previous campaign. Their squad is primarily composed of players from their predecessor, a team that finished bottom of the league in the last two years.
And the Italian side didn't get off to the most auspicious start as they found themselves 20-0 down after 20 minutes. Prydie opened the scoring with a penalty before Tuilagi powered across the whitewash for a converted score.
The Dragons' dominance continued when Steffan Jones added a drop-goal and Harries touched down.
Although Orquera reduced the deficit, it only provided a brief respite as Evans went over for the hosts' third converted try of the half.
The visiting fly-half added his second from the tee, but Evans secured the bonus-point before half-time as the Dragons led 34-6 at the break.
Despite their dominance before the interval, the home side struggled to get into their stride in the second period, although Prydie did add a penalty on 68 minutes.
Tries: Tuilagi, Harries, Evans 2
Con: Prydie 4
Pen: Prydie 2
Drop: S Jones
Pen: Orquera 2
Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Andrew Coombes, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Dan Way, 2 Steve Jones (c), 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 J Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Ashley Smith.
Zebre: 15 Sinoti Sinoti, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (c), 11 Samuele Pace, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Emiliano Caffini, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea De Marchie, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Filippo Cazzola, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Jason Langdon (Wales)