Dragons produced a resolute defensive display in Scotland as they lost out to Glasgow Warriors in an entertaining Guinness PRO14 clash at Scotstoun Stadium.
Head Coach Bernard Jackman had warned ahead of kick-off off a potential Warriors backlash after they were recently humbled in South Africa.
The home side duly exorcised the demons of last week as they wrapped up a bonus point win, courtesy of tries from Lee Jones (2), Oli Kebble, Huw Jones and Alex Dunbar.
But that was only half the story as determined and spirited Dragons pushed the hosts all the way and were chasing a losing bonus point in the dying minutes after Adam Warren’s score.
Jackman made seven changes for the clash with Tavis Knoyle and Jarryd Sage coming into the back division. Richard Hibbard captained the team while Ryan Bevington, Brandon Nansen, Nic Cudd and Lewis Evans also came in.
Fired-up Glasgow threatened within 90 seconds of the kick-off after a clean break from fly half Adam Hastings freed up room for Niko Matawalu, but Huw Jones knocked on before grounding the ball.
The home side, though, did not have to wait much longer for the opening try as giant front row Kebble blasted a hole between two tacklers to crash over.
Arwel Robson nudged over a penalty, after Ryan Wilson was penalised for coming in at the side, before Dragons were dealt an injury blow as Hibbard limped off.
Glasgow then broke up the short side at pace, from a neat lineout move, but the attack was snuffed out by a huge tackle from Bevington.
Dragons were looking to take the game to Glasgow at every opportunity as Nansen and Evans thundered into collisions before Robson added a second penalty of the night to cut the lead to a point.
The visitors were forced into a second change, as Josh Lewis replaced Robson just before the half hour, but the defensive shape stayed solid.
A huge shift on their own line saw Dragons repel wave after wave of home pressure, holding firm for several minutes before wing Jared Rosser picked off pass and threatened to race clear.
Moments later, Warren produced a brilliant try-saving tackle to deny Matawalu as the wing looked to exploit an extra man on the left wing and go for the line.
Glasgow did strike just before the interval with Hastings the architect as he broke into space and fed Lee Jones to score in the corner for a 12-6 lead.
Jones grabbed another try three minutes after the interval as the home side exploded into life, the wing gliding through a gap courtesy of a neat offload from Dunbar.
Dragons struck a blow back three minutes later as the ball was coughed up by the Warriors in midfield, after a rattling hit form Nic Cudd, and Jarryd Sage hacked ahead for Warren to win the footrace to the line.
Glasgow grabbed the bonus point 25 minutes from time when Huw Jones powered over in the corner, but Dragons were still firmly in the contest and hunting for a losing bonus point.
However, the final word went to Glasgow as Dunbar burst over in the dying minutes, after a series of swift offloads, to wrap up the home win.
05m Kebble t Hastings c 7-0
07m Robson p 7-3
21m Robson p 7-6
38m L. Jones t 12-6
43m L. Jones t 17-6
46m Warren t Lewis c 17-13
55m H. Jones 22-13
78m Dunbar t Hastings c 29-13
Ruaridh Jackson (Thomson 73), Lee Jones, Huw Jones (Grigg 64), Alex Dunbar, Niko Matawalu, Adam Hastings, Ali Price (Horne 64); Oli Kebble (Allan 69), Fraser Brown (Turner 64), D’Arcy Rae (Nicol 73), Rob Harley (Davidson 64), Jonny Gray, Ryan Wilson, Callum Gibbins, Matt Fagerson (Fusaro 69)
George Turner, Alex Allan, Adam Nicol, Andrew Davidson, Chris Fusaro, George Horne, Brandon Thomson, Nick Grigg:
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)