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Match Report

Jared Rosser produced a scintillating five-try display as the Dragons sealed a thrilling 53-38 Celtic Cup success over Connacht A in Ystrad Mynach

The home side went to the break 22-10 ahead with the Irish points coming via a Conor McKeon try and the boot of Conor Fitzgerald. 

Gerard Ellis, a brace from Rosser, and Chris Coleman had given the Dragons a comfortable interval lead and the scoring intensified after the break. 

Connacht came roaring back through Fitzgerald, Colm de Buitlear and Sean O’Brien added a brace. 

But in a pulsating tie it was not enough as the outstanding Rosser scored three more of his own and Carwyn Penny and Calvin Wellington completed a home success.

The home side started the brightest, Ellis charging down a clearance and running in for a rare try which McKeon responded to almost immediately. Conor Fitzgerald converted. 

De Buitlear then had a try ruled out for a forward pass, but Dragons seemed to take control as two quick scores from Rosser and an effort from Coleman put them ahead. 

Will Talbot-Davies was only able to add one conversion from those four tries which left the door open for a Connacht comeback and so it proved. 

The visitors started the second-half much the stronger side and began to assert their authority on proceedings, running in three unanswered tries through Fitzgerald, De Buitlear and O’Brien and three inch-perfect kicks from Fitzgerald made sure Connacht took maximum points. 

The Irish raiders were strong in possession and despite occasional lapses in concentration which lead to some mistakes, their passing play was very easy on the eye at times and Dragons struggled to find an answer to it.

Connacht had the better of the possession as well as the territory, but out of nowhere the Dragons came back fighting with Rosser the leading light.

He added a second-half hat-trick to his brace in the first period and the best of his five tries came when he skipped through the defence before running in under the posts in the first half.

Rosser was simply too good for the Connacht defence as he staked his claim for a call-up to Bernard Jackman’s senior side and with his scores, plus those from Penny and Wellington, the Dragons came out on top despite another effort from O’Brien. 

This was the perfect advertisement for the new Celtic Cup format. The pace did not let up from start to finish and the crowd at Ystrad Mynach were treated to a glut of tries, but there was no doubt it was Rosser who was the special talent on display.

Dragons A: Carwyn Penny; Will Talbot-Davies, Connor Edwards (Babos 8), Tiaan Loots (Wellington 55) ; Jared Rosser, Jacob Botica, Dafydd Buckland; Gerard Ellis, Rhys Lawrence, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Huw Taylor, Lennon Greggains, James Benjamin, Taine Basham

Replacements not used: Zac Hewlett, Scott Evans, Luke Yendle, Max Williams, Ben Fry, Deon Smith

Connacht Eagles: Darragh Leader; Rory Scholes (Conor Hayes 30), Sean O'Brien, Kieran Joyce, Colm de Buitlear; Conor Fitzgerald, Conor McKeon (James Mitchell 40); Matthew Burke, Tom McCartney (capt) (Jonny Murphy 62), Conor Carey (Conor Kenny 66), Peter Claffey, Joe Maksymiw, Cillian Gallagher, Cian Huxford, Robin Copeland (Neal Moylett 40)

Replacements not used: Jordan Duggan, Cormac Daly, Conor Dean

Referee: Elgan Williams (WRU)

Attendance: 200

T C D P Dragons A V Connacht Eagles T C D P
1 Substituted Gerard Ellis 1 Matthew Burke Substituted
Rhys Lawrence 2 Tom McCartney Substituted
1 Christian Coleman 3 Conor Carey Substituted
Joseph Davies 4 Peter Claffey Substituted
Huw Taylor 5 Joe Maksymiw
Lennon Greggains 6 Cillian Gallagher
James Benjamin 7 Cian Huxford
Substituted Taine Basham 8 Robin Copeland Substituted
Substituted Dafydd Buckland 9 Conor McKeon Substituted 1
Jacob Botica 10 Conor Fitzgerald Substituted 1 5 1
5 Jared Rosser 11 Colm de Buitlear 1
Yellow card Substituted Tiaan Loots 12 Kieran Joyce
Substituted (C) Connor Edwards 13 Sean O'Brien 2
4 Will Talbot-Davies 14 Rory Scholes Substituted
1 Carwyn Penny 15 Darragh Leader Yellow card
T C D P Replacements T C D P
Zac Hewlett 16 Jonny Murphy Substitution
Substitution Scott Evans 17 Jordan Duggan Substitution
Luke Yendle 18 Conor Kenny Substitution
Max Williams 19 Cormac Daly Substitution
Substitution Benjamin Fry 20 Neal Moylett Substitution
Substitution Daniel Babos 21 James Mitchell Substitution
Substitution Joe Goodchild 22 Conor Dean Substitution
1 Substitution Deon Smith 23 Conor Hayes Substitution

Head to Head Statistics

Dragons A       Connacht Eagles

Dragons A
Connacht Eagles
  • Dragons Wine Club
  • JDVII small
  • Munster small
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Saturday January 26



Rodney Parade, Newport

KO 3:00 PM

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