Planet Rugby

Dragons breathe fire in Newport

18th September 2009 21:26

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Jason Tovey Dragons

Jason Tovey: Starring role

The Dragons turned the early-season formbook on its head to beat Glasgow 30-19 in the Magners League on Friday, claiming a bonus point.

James Arlidge crossed to give the Dragons an early lead and the hosts added further tries in the first half through James Tovey and Aled Brew.

Glasgow wing Colin Shaw responded with the visitors' only try in the opening period before Dragons captain Ashley Smith claimed the bonus point try after the interval.

Both sides came into the game in top form. Glasgow were unbeaten in their two matches - both at home - while the Dragons scored three tries against Ulster to go top of the table in the first week before going down fighting in Dublin to European champions Leinster last Saturday.

But Glasgow were playing catch-up almost from the start as a wayward midfield pass was picked up by Dragons' New Zealand outside-half Arlidge, who ran from halfway to the posts and made his own conversion simple.

The dynamic Dragons backs were in rampant mood during the opening 20 minutes and added two more blistering tries as they turned on the afterburners.

Centres Tom Riley and skipper Smith combined beautifully to send full-back Tovey flying under the posts for the second try, before Wales wing Brew went roaring in at the corner for the third.

Arlidge booted one of those two conversions and, with the Warriors relying on outside-half Dan Parks for two penalties - one from 55 metres - for their points, it was an uphill struggle for the Scotsmen at 19-6 in arrears.

It was looking like one-way traffic before the Warriors got themselves into the home 22 which allowed wing Shaw to come through the middle, breach the home defence and score at the posts for a simple Parks conversion.

Tovey and Parks swapped penalties before half-time with the game still in the balance at 22-16 and Parks' fourth penalty pulled Glasgow back to just three points behind after the break.

The Dragons' impressive back division came alive again after Tovey took them six points clear with another penalty.

A neat grubber kick to the right corner put the ball over the Glasgow line for Smith to touch down and give the Dragons a four-try bonus point.

The life seemed to go out of the match around the hour mark as Glasgow used up all their seven replacements but the Scottish side could not find a way through the home defence despite some tireless play from the pack.

Unforced mistakes frustrated the visitors when in decent positions around the home 22 and, with the teams meeting again in the Heineken Cup next month, the Dragons' victory laid a significant marker for that contest.

The scorers:

For the Dragons:
Tries: Arlidge, Tovey, Brew, Smith
Cons: Arlidge 2
Pens: Tovey 2

For Glasgow:
Tries: Shaw
Cons: Parks
Pens: Parks 4

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith ©, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nigel Hall, 2 Steve Jones , 1 Ali McKenzie.
Replacements: 16 Duane Goodfield, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Gethin Robinson, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Grant Webb, 21 Martyn Thomas, 22 Danny Lee.

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Rob Dewey, 13 Peter Murchie, 12 Graeme Morrison (c), 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Mark McMillan, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Calum Forrester, 5 Dan Turner, 4 Tim Barker, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Justin Va'a.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Alastair Kellock, 19 Kelly Brown, 20 Colin Gregor, 21 Peter Horne, 22 Hefin O'Hare.

Referee: Dudley Phillips
Assistant Referees: Phil Connell (WRU), David Jones (WRU).

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