NEWPORT Gwent Dragons suffered late heartbreak to go down to a 17-13
defeat at Connacht on Friday evening.
The Dragons led 13-3 going into the last 25 minutes but their hosts
struck back with a pair of converted tries to steal the spoils at the
Darren Edwards’ side battled hard at the death to at least head home
from Galway with a losing bonus point, but it could have been so much
The visitors were superb in the first half and deservedly headed to
the changing rooms with a 10-point lead and a real chance of their
first win in Galway since 2004.
An excellent start was rewarded when fly-half Jason Tovey kicked a
seventh-minute penalty but opposite number Niall levelled matters on
The Dragons defended superbly and then scored a superb try on the half
hour to take control.
Centre Pat Leach raced through midfield and passed to wing Matthew
Pewtner, who was dragged down five metres short.
The ball was recycled and Nathan Williams was on hand to barge over
for his first Dragons try since his summer move from Moseley.
Tovey added the conversion and kicked another penalty after Connacht
infringed when scrambling back following a fantastic Martyn Thomas
In windy and wet conditions the Dragons looked in control in the
opening exchanges of the second half but Connacht came firing back in
the last half hour to take the spoils.
Both centre Eoin Griffin and Gavin Duffy slid over in the left corner
with former Ospreys fly-half Matthew Jarvis landing a pair of
excellent conversions to earn a 17-13 lead.
It was the hosts that ended on the front foot but the Dragons showed
oodles of character to stand firm and ensure that their losing bonus
point was not snatched away at the death.