O’Brien’s boot keeps Edinburgh at bay

Date published: November 27 2016

Newport Gwent Dragons leapfrogged Edinburgh on the points table after a 27-19 win in the Pro12.

A late Angus O'Brien penalty set Newport up for a great win which looked likely at the break with Edinburgh rarely threatening to take more than a losing bonus point back to Scotland. 

The result means the two sides swap places in the table with Newport now in 9th, one place ahead of Edinburgh. 

A cagey start to the match was broken by the away side, who swept up the wing too quickly for the Dragons, allowing Nasi Manu to score a converted try. 

Newport took no time though in getting themselves back into the game, and a minute after the restart, cut the lead down to four points via the boot of O'Brien. From that point on, the Dragons continued in fine fettle and took the lead as Carl Meyer slid between the posts much to the delight of the Rodney Parade crowd. O'Brien again put his foot to good use and added the extras. 

A period of sustained pressure led to a second try for Newport, as the TMO awarded Sam Hobbs the five points after he just managed to get over the line. Again, O'Brien was faultless from the tee. 

The sides then swapped tries as Edinburgh hit back minutes after conceding through Chris Dean, who broke from a ruck, but that was quickly cancelled out by O'Brien, whose eventual try also went to the TMO. Better yet, O'Brien converted his own try to bring to an end a fantastic first half. 

The opening 20 minutes of the second half was fraught with tension. With both sides making a host of changes to their team, neither outfit were able to settle down and get a grip on the game. 

But, just as it seemed the game was slipping away from the Scots, Viliame Mata picked up the ball close to the line and sailed over, with Duncan Weir adding the extras to put the width of a try between the two sides with less than 20 minutes to play. 

However, O'Brien continued his fine form and delivered a successful penalty which left the visitors empty handed from short range.

The Scorers:

For Dragons:
Hobbs, Meyer, O'Brien
Cons: O'Brien 3
Pens: O'Brien 2

For Edinburgh:
Manu, Dean, Mata
Cons: Tovey, Weir

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Tyler Morgan

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane (c), 1 Jack Cosgrove
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Kyle Whyte, 18 Felipe Arregui, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Viliame Mata, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Glenn Bryce

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)