With five tries a piece it was a draw at Rodney Parade this evening, with both teams taking away bonus points from the Guinness PRO14 match at Rodney Parade.
The hard-fought match ended with a last minute try from the Irish visitors as Christian Lealiifano went over in extra time to even the scores, however, he failed to convert seeing the entertaining match end on a draw.
Both teams made a good start to the game but it was the visitors who added the first points to the scoreboard through the boot of fly-half Lealiifano. That lead was soon extended by Ulster, following a yellow card, given to Jack Dixon for a dangerous tackle, with a try through Craig Gilroy.
However, it didn’t take the Welsh Region long to gather together and score from the driving lineout, with Matthew Screech the scorer and fly-half Gavin Henson converting to see the scores at 7-8 after 20 minutes.
This was followed by a fantastic break from skipper Ollie Griffiths seeing the home side move into the oppositions 22 gaining them a vital penalty; Henson knocked it over with ease.
The Dragons went on the attack again from the restart, seeing a neat chip through the Ulster defence from Jack Dixon to put Ashton Hewitt over for his first try of the evening. Despite a lead of 15-8 with 30 minutes on the clock, Ulster came back seeing hem attempt their own drive towards the whitewash. The first was stopped illegally which was followed quickly by another telling off by referee Marius Mitrea, the third time Mitrea made the decision of awarding the visitors a penalty try.
Half Time: Dragons 15 – Ulster 15
The second half saw Ulster dominate the proceedings early as scrum-half Paul Marshall dotted down from close range. Their fourth try came quickly afterwards as Craig Gilroy went over for his second with the conversion coming from Lealiifano (15-27).
It was on the 60-minute marker when the Dragons switched up proceedings and went for try number three. Once again they used the driving lineout to their advantage with hooker Liam Belcher crossing for his first try in Dragons colours. The Dragons fourth came from a lovely break from Henson before Dixon offloaded to Jared Rosser who sprinted to the finish, getting the ball to Angus O’Brien to dot down for the bonus point try.
Dragons fly-half Henson converted, seeing the scores even out again at 27-27. But there was still time for one of the teams to seal the win and with the clock ticking fans were able to see that both sides were hungry for the win and it was the hosts to strike first. Hewitt was sent over in the 77th minute by O’Brien, but there was still time for Ulster to steal the spoils and following a powerful attack it was Lealiifano who went over to even the scores, however, his conversion went wide to see the game end with a draw.
Full Time: Dragons 32 – Ulster 32
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Man of the Match: Ollie Griffiths