Planet Rugby

Connacht hammer the Dragons

05th January 2013 19:03

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George Naoupu Connacht Pro12

Try for Connacht: George Naoupu

Dan Parks kicked 15 points as Connacht ran in three tries against Newport Gwent Dragons in a 30-11 win at the Sportsground in Galway.

A touchdown from George Naoupu and a penalty try, alongside the boot of Dan Parks, gave the home team a commanding 20-3 advantage at the break, with Tom Prydie responding for the Dragons.

Prydie converted another penalty opportunity in the second half, but Danie Poolman's score and Parks' drop-goal sealed their fourth league win of the season.

The hosts failed to score a point in their 17-0 defeat to inter-country rivals Leinster last week, but were almost immediately off the mark here when Parks kicked them ahead.

Connacht's former Scotland international then added a second from the tee as they took a 6-0 lead after eight minutes. Despite playing well against Cardiff Blues and Ospreys in the previous two games, the Dragons succumbed to defeat.

However, they were being physically dominated by the Irish province and struggled to ascertain any control on the encounter. A penalty try midway through the opening half was just reward for the home side's efforts with a second touchdown coming soon after.

Initiated by Dave McSharry, the centre broke through before he fed Naoupu who scampered over. Although Prydie briefly reduced the arrears with two penalties either side of the interval, Connacht went over for their third try in the second period.

Once again McSharry was involved when his pass found Poolman and the winger ran in for his third of the season.

Parks added a drop-goal as the score moved to an insurmountable 30-6 advantage in favour of the hosts with 20 minutes to go.

Jonathan Evans went over for Newport late on, but it only slightly eased the pain of yet another defeat.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: Penalty, Naoupu, Poolman
Pens: Parks 2
Cons: Parks 3
Drop Goal: Parks

For Newport Gwent Dragons:
Try: J. Evans
Pens: Prydie 2

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (capt), 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 tbc, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (capt), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Jack Dixon.

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