Planet Rugby

Dragons cruise past ailing Aironi

23rd October 2010 20:24

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Jason Tovey yellow

Nineteen points: Jason Tovey

Dragons picked up a valuable victory over fellow basement strugglers Aironi on Saturday in a 36-5 Magners League scoreline at Rodney Parade.

Jason Tovey was the inspiration for the Welsh region in only their second win of the season, ending a five-match losing sequence in a bad tempered clash.

It lifted the Dragons a place in the table above Glasgow, while the luckless Italians remain rooted to the bottom without a win in eight attempts.

The home side's hero was fly-half Tovey, who kicked them to victory with a 19-point haul in front of watching Wales coach Warren Gatland.

Tovey's five penalties and two conversions came in his first game for more than a month, after suffering a torn hamstring.

The Dragons relied heavily on the boot of Tovey, the fly-half booting three penalties in the opening 20 minutes - the third after Italian prop Redolfini was yellow-carded for preventing release.

That was quickly followed by a cracking try started and finished by Wales candidate Aled Brew, with Tovey acting as the middle man. Brew chipped ahead, Tovey neatly kept the ball in play and dashed infield, where Brew took his pass and swept over for a try which Tovey converted.

His fourth penalty after half an hour put the Dragons well ahead, but Aironi replied on the stroke of half-time with a try in the corner by winger Giovanbattista Venditti after a series of drives by their big pack.

The Dragons led 19-5 at the interval and Tovey was soon on the mark again, landing another penalty - although the Dragons were down to 14 men when hooker Steve Jones was yellow-carded for coming in from the side.

The Italians had two more players yellow carded for persistent infringement, both of them replacements - fly-half Riccardo Bocchino and hooker Roberto Santamaria, his departure being a second yellow which turned to red and saw them reduced to 13 men.

The Dragons wrapped it up with six minutes left when Brew's fellow wing Adam Hughes romped clear for a try which Tovey converted.

Deep into injury time Hughes grabbed his second try after chasing a fly-kick, replacement Matthew Jones converting - although the Dragons did miss out on a bonus point.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: Brew, Hughes 2
Con: Tovey 2, Jones
Pen: Tovey 5

For Aironi:
Try: Venditti

Dragons: 15 Will Harries, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Pat Leach, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans. 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Luke Charteris (capt), 3 Pat Palmer, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Nigel Hall, 19 Scott Morgan, 20 Andrew Coombs, 21 Matthew Jones, 22 Nicky Griffiths, 23 Rhodri Gomer Davies.

Aironi: 15 Julien Laharrague, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Pablo Canavosio, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Simone Favaro; 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Carlo Del Fava; 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Fabio Staibano, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Jaco Erasmus, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Gilberto Pavan, 23 Riccardo Bocchino.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy

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