Adding to a season of firsts for Newport Gwent Dragons; the Welsh Region were victorious against Treviso in Italy for the first time ever in a league encounter.Tries from Jonathan Evans, Hallam Amos and two from Tom Prydie guaranteed the Men of Gwent a full five point victory, the first away bonus point win for the Region since 2004.
The Dragons withstood plenty of pressure from Treviso with an outstanding performance in defence led by outside centre Pat Leach - which was supported by forwards Andrew Coombs, Nick Croswell, James Thomas and Brok Harris.
The Men of Gwent were almost on the scoreboard early in the game after a charge down from Andrew Coombs which was followed up by James Benjamin. But the try was disallowed after the TMO deemed that Benjamin had knocked the ball on. Whilst Treviso enjoyed the majority of possession for the next 10 minutes, the Dragons defensive organisation never looked troubled, forcing numerous errors from the home side.
After 18 minutes scrum half Jonathan Evans crossed the whitewash after riding three would be tacklers, before making a dash for the line himself - Tom Prydie added the extras putting the Dragons in the lead 7-0. A few minutes later the Dragons had an opportunity to go further ahead, however Prydie pushed his attempt wide and the score remained 7-0.
Treviso then enjoyed another period of possession, but the home team once again failed to penetrate the Dragons excellent defence.
A Dragon’s attack through the backs resulted in a penalty from Treviso not releasing the player, Prydie stepped up and slotted the ball over the posts which extended the lead to 10-0.
As the clock reached 40 minutes Treviso were in possession close to the Dragon’s line. However, resolute Dragons defence forced an error and Prydie seized on the loose ball and released Hallam Amos from behind his own try line. Amos, showed great vision and broke down the left hand side of the field, interlinking firstly with Jack Dixon who beat one defender before offloading to Dorian Jones. D. Jones returned the pass to Amos who strode into the try line taking the Dragons lead to 15-0, Tom Prydie added the extras from the touchline giving the Dragons a half time lead of 17-0.
Half Time: Treviso 0 – Newport Gwent Dragons 17
Newport Gwent Dragons pressure continued early into the second half when another Prydie penalty saw the lead extend to 20 points. The Men of Gwent’s first league win in Treviso seemed inevitable however, a spirited fight back from a determined Treviso team saw centre Enrico Bacchin separating the Dragons defence to cross the line on 46 minutes following a period of sustained pressure.
Referee Ian Davies felt he had no choice but to award the home team with a penalty try, following a scrum infringement, with Hayward converting reducing the gap to just 6 points.
On the 65th minute Treviso thought they had taken the lead, but after lengthy discussions between referee Ian Davies and the TMO the try was not awarded for accidental offside. Treviso were awarded the penalty and Hayward added to his tally which reduced the deficit by another three. With 15 minutes left to play the score was 17-20 to the visitors.
Treviso continued to attack but a well-marshaled chip from Treviso saw Carl Meyer go on the counter attack before offloading to Ollie Griffiths, soft hands from Griffiths saw the ball delivered to Amos, who once again found some space on the left hand side. Amos kicked the ball through and a defensive mix up from Treviso saw Tom Prydie pounce on the loose ball over the try line for the first of his two tries. Prydie’s conversion was charged down by Treviso leaving the score at 17-25, with fewer than 10 minutes to play.
In the final moments of the game, the Dragons worked the ball worked wide to Carl Meyer from a scrum. Meyer from Ebbw Vale RFC chipped the ball over the top of the defence and Prydie won the foot race to dot down on the right, before capping his Man of the Match performance with a final conversion.
Final score: Treviso 17 – Newport Gwent Dragons 32
Treviso: Jayden Hayward, Simone Ragusi, Michele Campagnaro, Enrico Bacchin, Ludivico Nitoglia, Sam Christie, Alberto Lucchese, Matteo Zanusso, Davide Giazzon, R Harden, A Pavanello (captain, M Fuser 45), C Van Zyl (M Swanepoel 76), M Barbini (D Budd 34), F Minto, M Luamanu.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Jason Tovey, Tom Prydie, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Phil Price, T Rhys Thomas (captain), Brok Harris, Andrew Coombs, Cory Hill, James Thomas, James Benjamin, Nick Crosswell.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)