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Dragons too good for Scarlets

20th September 2013 21:06

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Dan Evans of Dragons charges

Try for Dragons: Dan Evans

Dragons led from start to finish to claim their second win of the Pro12 season on Friday with a 23-16 victory over Scarlets at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons maintained their winning start as they saw off their local rivals in a breathtaking encounter.

Tries from Phil Price and Dan Evans inflicted a second consecutive defeat on the Scarlets while earning the Dragons a first win over their Welsh rivals in six years.

Scott Williams managed to cross over for the away side while Rhys Priestland notched 11 points from the boot but the Dragons held on to secure a famous victory in front of a packed crowd in South Wales.

The hosts were rampant during the opening stages and they deservedly went ahead with a long-range penalty from Tom Prydie after George Earle was punished by referee Nigel Owens for not rolling away.

Darren Edwards' side continued to dominate and after Prydie was denied by Priestland's last-ditch tackle, the home side did manage to get their first try of the evening.

With Owens awarding the Dragons the advantage, the ball was spread to the left wing and Francisco Chaparro evaded two tackles before a superb offload gave Price the simplest of finished in the corner.

Fly-half Jason Tovey slotted home the conversion from the touchline and the home fans were back on their feet minutes later as former Scarlet Evans was picked out by Richie Rees to score his side's second try.

Tovey added the extras to put the Dragons in cruise control but Priestland reduced his side's deficit to 11 points with a penalty after 26 minutes.

The frenetic pace of the game was epitomised when Scarlets centre Williams tried to kick clear but he was hauled to the ground with the Dragons looking certain to score on the left wing - but for a crucial last-gasp tackle from Rob McCusker.

After being under the cosh for the majority of the opening half, Simon Easterby's side finally started to build some momentum and with just over half an hour gone they got their first try of the match.

Wales international Williams jinked his way through the Dragons' defence to touch down after collecting Jonathan Davies' inside pass on the 22 metre line. Priestland nailed the conversion to reduce the Dragons' lead to just four points at the end of a thrilling half at Rodney Parade.

The second half was equally intense as Tovey cancelled out a Priestland penalty but it was the Scarlets who enjoyed the majority of the ball in the later stages of the game.

The hosts absorbed waves of attacks and after weathering the storm, Prydie extended the Dragons' lead to seven points with a mammoth long range penalty kick from the touch line with only 10 minutes on the clock.

Andrew Coombs rallied his troops as the Scarlets launched a final onslaught but as the clock ticked four minutes into over-time, Toby Faletau booted the ball out of play to send the home supporters into raptures.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: Price, D. Evans
Cons: Tovey 2
Pens: Prydie 2, Tovey

For Scarlets:
Try: M. Williams
Con: Priestland
Pens: Priestland 3

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Toby Faletau. 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Andrew Coombs (c), 3 Francisco Chaparro, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Dan Way, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Kris Burton, 23 Adam Hughes.

Scarlets: 15 Steve Shingler, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (capt), 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Nic Reynolds, 23 Gareth Owen.

Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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