Dragons grind past Zebre

Date published: September 9 2016

The Dragons registered a hard-fought 11-6 victory over Zebre in their PRO12 clash at Rodney Parade on Friday.

Pat Howard scored the only try of the game midway through the first half, with Carlos Canna's penalties for the visitors only enough for a losing bonus point. 

A scoreless second half saw Dragons rise the table with four points on the board, while Zebre await their second win since January. A tense start saw Newport make metres forward to little avail, while Canna got the first score of the night, kicking three points after Zebre gained possession from the scrum. 

An unlikely lead did not last long though, as Dragons hit back through Howard's try, which came courtesy of good work from Rynard Landman and Sarel Pretorius. The South Africans went through the phases, played the ball out wide and Howard did the rest, though Nick MacLeod kicked wide with the conversion. 

MacLeod made up for that miss with a couple of successful penalties around the half hour mark, but it was the visitors who went in at half-time with the momentum. 

Moments before the break, Canna kicked another penalty and the half-time deficit was five points. Canna had an opportunity to further close the gap with a third penalty, but this time was unable to see it home. 

The majority of the second half was fraught with mistakes, which allowed neither side the opportunity to score further points. 

The main action of the second half were yellow cards for both teams. Guillermo Roan and Andrea De Marchi were sent to the sin-bin for the Italian side while Brok Harris received his temporary marching orders for the hosts.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Pens: Macleod 2
Yellow Card: Harris

For Zebre:
Canna 2
Yellow Cards: De Marchi, Roan

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Adam Warren, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Sam Beard, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 James Thomas, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones

Zebre: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Lloyd Greeff, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Maxime Mbandà, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Guillermo Roan, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Carlo Engelbrecht, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Edoardo Padovani

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Cammy Rudkin (Scotland), Gareth John (Wales)