Dragons too strong for Munster

Date published: December 6 2015

Dragons picked up a priceless home victory in the PRO12 as they battled past a second-string Munster side 22-6 at Rodney Parade on Sunday.

Dorian Jones wasted no time in opening the scoring when presented with the first kick of the afternoon. Jones easily slotted through a penalty just two minutes into proceedings, as Dragons took an early advantage.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges, though in truth there was very little in the first 40 at all.

Munster equalised with their first penalty of the game, Robin Copeland breaking from the back of a scrum and drawing an offence. That allowed Rory Scannell the chance to fire through the posts, a chance that he duly converted.

Dragons continued on the front foot and found themselves deep inside the visitors 22, but a misplaced pass ended that attack. And minutes later, Munster almost made them pay when they found themselves over the line. Simon Zebo thought he had opened the try scoring tally for the afternoon following a good break from Ronan O'Mahony, but the TMO interfered and Newport could breathe again, with Zebo deemed to have made a double movement.

Minutes later, they were almost in again through Lucas Amorosino, but the Argentine knocked on when the try looked imminent.

Back at the other end and the hosts retook the lead through Jones' second three pointer of the afternoon, his kick from in front of the posts giving the Dragons a slender advantage heading towards the break.

But Munster levelled for the second time in this tight affair, Scannell making it two from two as the sides went in on level terms.

The Dragons came out of the break in search of the try, and within three minutes found themselves camped just metres from the Munster try-line. Though they couldn't force their way over, Jones did kick a drop-goal to again put his side into a three point advantage.

Replacement Tyler Bleyendaal missed out on the chance to drag his side back onto terms, his first kick at the posts arrowing to the right of the posts.

Jones couldn't have come any closer in this battle of the kickers, as he saw a penalty for a six point lead cannon back off the posts before Munster could clear forward and escape still within three points. Not that he had to wait too long, making no mistake 15 minutes from time.

Jones, with just one miss at this point, fancied his chances of sealing the game with another drop-goal attempt. This time however, it wasn't successful.

But late on, Dragons went over for the first try of the game to seal victory. Rynard Landman stormed over after late relentless pressure, with Jones adding the extra two to seal what in the end was a deserved victory. And with the final kick of the game, Jason Tovey kicked the final three points to secure a big win for the Welsh region.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Try: Landman
Con: Jones
Pen: Jones 3, Tovey
Drop: Jones

For Munster:
Pen: Scannell 2

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Taulupe Faletau, Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas (c), 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Shaun Knight, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Ross Wardle.

Munster: 15 Lucas González Amorosino, 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 David Johnston, 12 Denis Hurley (c), 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Rory Scannell, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Dave O'Callaghan, 6 Shane Buckley, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Dave Foley, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Gerhard van den Heever.

Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Daniel Jones (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)