Planet Rugby

Groves try rescues Dragons

29th March 2014 16:43

Share:

jason tovey dragons

In-form: Jason Tovey

A late converted Jevon Groves try snatched a 25-25 draw for the Dragons against Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma on Saturday.

Both sides had won just once in their past five matches in the PRO12, and with confidence perhaps in short supply, it took a yellow card to create the space necessary for a try to be scored.

Toby Faletau's indiscretion at a maul with just over quarter of an hour left the visitors a man light and Zebre took full advantage as a strong scrum and a spree of pick-and-drives from forwards sucked in the opposition defence; Samuela Vunisa had enough power to force his way over the line out wide.

The conversion and a pair of penalties were added by a combination of Luciano Orquera and Gonzalo Garcia but it was the Dragons who went into the half-time interval with the lead as they produced some enterprising rugby as the half wore on.

Full-back Dan Evans was the first to cross the whitewash for them after a powerful burst up the middle from centre Pat Leach laid the platform for Richie Rees and Jason Tovey to spin the ball wide.

And Ashley Smith followed that up with a score of his own five minutes before the break as he took advantage of a sizeable overlap after a strong run from captain Andrew Coombs and some good distribution from Rees and Tom Prydie. Tovey added the conversion and a late penalty to give the Welshmen a two-point advantage at the halfway stage.

With the match so finely poised, the second half - perhaps inevitably - developed into a tense and nervy affair with Zebre desperate to record back-to-back home wins for the first time ever and the Dragons eager to maintain their 100 per cent record against the Italian outfit.

Orquera and Tovey exchanged penalties in the opening fifteen minutes of the second period as the lead changed hands but the Italian international fly-half was more reliable from the tee than his opposite number. His fourth and fifth penalties of the afternoon gave the home side a seven-point lead going into the final five minutes.

The scene was set for the crowd to celebrate a third home win of the season but replacement Groves hadn't read the script as he picked up the ball from the base of a ruck and ran straight through the middle of the Zebre defence to silence the home support.

Tovey added the conversion to ensure that the spoils were shared and the end result was perhaps fair, though not one either team is likely to be happy with - both remain languishing in the lower reaches of the table.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Try: Vunisa
Con: Orquera
Pens: Garcia, Orquera 4

For Dragons:
Tries: Evans, Smith, Groves
Cons: Tovey 2
Pens: Tovey 2
Yellow card: Faletau

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Guglielmo Palazzani, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'apice, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 David Odiete, 22 Giovanbattista Venditti, 23 Kameli Ratuvou.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Will Harries, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Taulupe Faletau. 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Andrew Coombs (c), 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Bruce Douglas, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Jack Dixon, 23 Hallam Amos.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00