Planet Rugby

Dragons keep European hopes alive

16th October 2009 21:43

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Luke Charteris Dragons

Try: Luke Charteris

Dragons kept their hopes of making Heineken Cup progress alive with a deserved 22-14 win over Glasgow on Friday.

A second successive defeat in the competition ensured that Glasgow have no realistic chance of qualification for the knockout stages.

Three tries before the interval gave the Dragons a healthy half-time lead as their backs produced their best performance for some time, but they were unable to add to their score in the second half as the Scottish visitors produced a late but unsuccessful rally.

The Dragons had the first chance to open the scoring after four minutes when Alastair Kellock was adjudged offside at a ruck but James Arlidge missed the 35-metre angled penalty. Glasgow had their opportunity two minutes later but Dan Parks also fired his kick wide.

The Dragons took the lead after 12 minutes. They neglected to take a kick at goal and found a touch on the Warriors goal-line.

Possession was secured and Adam Jones was driven over for the try which Arlidge converted.

The Scots were dealt a further blow when Chris Cusiter, only recently returned from a three-week absence with a flu bug, left the field with an ankle injury.

The Dragons dominated the next 10 minutes but careless handling cost them the chance of extending their lead.

Against the run of play the Warriors levelled the scores when they produced an excellent flowing movement which ended when John Beattie strolled through a huge gap in the home defence for a try under the posts which Parks converted.

But that success was tempered by the loss of Beattie to the sin bin soon afterwards for trampling on an opponent.

The Dragons took immediate advantage with Arlidge dropping a goal to give them a 10-7 lead on the half-hour. When Aled Brew was penalised, Parks had a chance to restore parity, but again was wide with his kick.

Just before half-time the Dragons produced two quality tries which their first-half performance merited.

Firstly the Warriors ball was turned over on halfway and the Dragons moved the ball skilfully for Luke Charteris to crash over.

From the restart Glasgow pressed but the Dragons broke away through good work from Brew and Rhodri Gomer-Davies, to set up a ruck on halfway.

Wayne Evans, the scrum-half, was alert enough to put in a kick to the blindside for Martyn Thomas to outpace the defence, collect and score. Arlidge converted the try to make it 22-7 at the interval.

Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate was yellow-carded after 45 minutes for an illegal tackle and the hosts conceded a try just before his return when replacement Kevin Tkachuk barged his way over. Parks converted with a superb kick from the touchline.

The Dragons threw away a golden opportunity when Gomer-Davies should have fed Will Harries for a clear run in, but the centre dummied and the chance was lost.

The game continued at a frantic pace with French referee Roman Poite allowing for an open and exciting game, but there was to be no further score as the Dragons defence grimly held on in the last five minutes.

Parks missed a penalty with the last kick of the match to deprive Glasgow of a bonus point.

The Scorers

For Dragons:
Tries:
Jones, Charteris, Thomas
Cons:Arlidge 2
Drop:Arlidge

For Glasgow:
Tries:
Beattie, Tkachuk
Cons:Parks 2

Dragons:15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Will Harries, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris (capt), 4 Adam Jones, 3 Peter Bracken, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Duane Goodfield, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Gethin Robinson, 19 Hoani MacDonald, 20 Robert Sidoli, 21 Danny Lee, 22 Richard Fussell, 23 Jason Tovey.

Glasgow:15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Colin Shaw, 13 David McCall, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 John Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Alastair Kellock (capt), 4 Tim Barker, 3 Moray Low, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 John Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Dan Turner, 20 Colin Gregor, 21 Hefin O'Hare, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Kelly Brown,

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cédric Marchat (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)

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