Dragons defeat Warriors after epic finale
Dragons secured back-to-back wins in the Guinness PRO14 for the first time in eight years in the most dramatic of fashion as they defeated Glasgow Warriors in Scotland.
An impressive opening half hour from Dean Ryan’s men was rewarded with a brilliant try from Jared Rosser – on his 50th appearance for the region.
But two quick-fire home scores, while Dragons were down to 14 men, saw the Warriors fight back to take a slender lead at the break.
Prop Brok Harris crashed over early in the second half as Dragons edged back ahead chasing a first win at Scotstoun since 2013 before a truly heart-stopping finale.
In an epic ending, Glasgow crashed over with time up and looked set to snatch the win.
However, one last twist saw the unfortunate Brandon Thomson strike the left upright with the resulting conversion and the very last kick of the game.
It meant that Dragons secured back-to-back league away wins for the first time since March 2012 and now go into the Heineken Champions Cup in high spirits.
Boss Dean Ryan made six changes for the clash, as he looked to his side to adapt to the fast plastic pitch surface.
Ben Carter, on his full debut, was straight into the thick of the action with a big carry after a high up and under from Sam Davies was nudged back by Rosser.
Strong early defence saw Aaron Jarvis rip the ball and Josh Lewis take a high kick under huge pressure from Matawalu before the opening try of the night.
A brilliant first phase score saw Rosser break through from clean lineout ball and a perfectly timed inside ball from Davies and he simply had too much power and pace for the covering defence.
Warriors looked to hit back as they broke down the right wing with Hewitt out of action receiving treatment.
Back row Keddie was yellow carded after an infringement at the ruck in shadow of the posts and Glasgow repeatedly went for the scrum to try and slam home the advantage.
However, spirited Dragons held firm under intense pressure to win a penalty and clear their lines to see out a tricky ten-minute spell a man down without any damage.
Ryan’s men were always looking to play in the right areas and keep Glasgow at bay with a big hit from Rosser rocking them back and allowing Jack Dixon to kick down the line to spark another attack.
Davies added three more points to extend the lead on the half hour before Glasgow struck a blow with Dixon yellow carded for a no arms tackle on Nick Grigg.
The home side drove over with a real show of power, with Fotu Lokotui the man to touch down at the back of the maul.
Glasgow, with the extra man, then kept the ball alive and sent Sean Kennedy over, with Horne’s conversion giving them the lead for the first time just before the break.
A superb start to the second half saw another early score as the forwards showed great composure close to the line and prop Harris crashed over – his third try in 130 games.
Horne levelled the teams up after 48 minutes with a well-struck penalty.
Shipp was inches from collecting a pop pass from the hard-working Carter as he galloped through a gap while Matawalu almost grabbed an interception but juggled and lost control.
Davies added a penalty after a late tackle on Lewis and the playmaker then, after a scintillating break from Rhodri Williams, slotted over a drop goal to extend the lead on the hour.
Glasgow lost Lee Jones to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on and going into the final stages it was the visitors who held a six-point lead.
A tense finale saw Glasgow pressure the away try line before they looked set to break visiting hearts as they crashed in with time up through Johnny Matthews.
However, in the most dramatic of fashion, Thomson was denied from close range as he hit struck the left-hand post and saw the ball bounce clear.
05m Rosser t Davies c 0-7
27m Davies p 0-10
29m Lokotui t Horne p 7-10
35m Kennedy t Horne c 14-10
45m Harris t Davies c 14-17
48m Horne p 17-17
53m Davies p 17-20
58m Davies dg 17-23
80m Matthews t 22-23
Glasgow Warriors: Glenn Bryce, Lee Jones, Nick Grigg, Robbie Fergusson, Niko Matawalu, Pete Horne, Sean Kennedy; Aki Seiuli, Grant Stewart, Enrique Pieretto, Lewis Bean, Kiran McDonald, Rob Harley, Fotu Lokotui, Ryan Wilson
Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Alex Allan, D’arcy Rae, Hamish Bain, TJ Ioane, Jamie Dobie, Brandon Thomson, Ratu Tagive
Dragons: Josh Lewis, Jared Rosser, Jack Dixon (Tompkins 57), Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams; Brok Harris (Maguire 62), Ellis Shipp (Hibbard 57), Aaron Jarvis, Ben Carter (Maksymiw 57), Matthew Screech, Harrison Keddie, Taine Basham (Taylor 54 (Carter 76)), Ollie Griffiths
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Conor Maguire, Chris Coleman, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Tavis Knoyle, Nick Tompkins, Owen Jenkins
Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 3rd competition game)