Dragons Stun Wasps in Pre-Season


Dragons claimed a brilliant 24-31 victory over Wasps in their final pre-season friendly at the Coventry Building society Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Tries from Aneurin Owen, Josh Reynolds and a brace from winger Jonah Holmes alongside 11 points from the boot of fly half Sam Davies was enough for the Men of Gwent to take the win in Coventry.

Wasps managed four tries themselves with Will Porter, Dan Robson and Josh Bassett also scoring two, to go with four points from Jacob Umaga but it wasn’t enough for the home side as they taste defeat ahead of their league opener next week.

Next up for Dragons is the season opener against Welsh rivals the Ospreys at Rodney Parade in two weeks time.

The home side started the brighter and were putting pressure on the Dragons defence from the start.

The Wasps dominated possession and territory in the opening forty minutes, but some brilliant Dragons defending kept the game in the balance.

Although the Dragons had their moments in the first half with some brilliant line breaks from the likes of Taine Basham, Ben Carter and Aaron Wainwright putting the visitors in good attacking positions.

But it was Wasps who opened the scoring through winger Bassett, after a dominant scrum the home side used the advantage well and went wide to the dangerous winger who finished well in the corner. Umaga missed the extras.

A breathless second quarter followed with both sides going end to end searching for the next score.

Wasps captain Brad Shields was sent to the sin-bin for tackling Dan Babos in the air after a brilliant take from the scrum half.

And the Dragons almost made the extra man count with a try of their own but after a Sam Davies chip the offload couldn’t quite make it into the hands of Basham.

And it was the home side who doubled their lead with Bassett crossing for his second of the game after a lovely pass from fly half Umaga.

But there was time before half time for the Dragons to strike back and they did just that with a brilliant try from young centre Aneurin Owen.

Jack Dixon found space on the outside before passing inside to Ioan davies and some lovely hands from the fullback and scrum half Dan Babos put Owen over the try-line.

Davies converted to ensure the sides went into half time with just the one score between them at 12-7.

The visitors had the perfect start to the second half after a couple of early penalties Davies put the Dragons just outside the Wasps 22m for a line out.

A fantastic training ground moved followed and it was winger Jonah Holmes crossing for his first score of the afternoon untouched under the sticks after the inside pass from Davies, who then added the extras to give his side the lead for the first time.

The hosts responded with scrum half Dan Robson taking a quick tap and go from close range and squeezed over the try line to give his side the lead. Umaga converted and the Wasps lead 19-14 with half an hour to go.

Wasps extended their lead with a fourth try, this time it was replacement Will porter who finished in the corner after some good offloads in the build up.

But the Dragons didn’t lie down and minutes later Holmes grabbed his second of the game after Aneurin Owen kicked it through the Welsh international was able to collect and score under the posts.

The game was turned on it’s head quickly with Dragons once more gaining the lead, this time an unlikely scorer in replacement prop Josh Reynolds.

An excellent show and go from Davies opened the space before he offloaded to scrum half Lewis Jones and the man on loan from Cardiff offloaded to Reynolds who showed his pace and finishing ability to score from 20 metres out.

Davies added the extras and then sealed the victory with a 50 metre penalty with the final kick of the game as the Men of Gwent finished pre-season with a brilliant 24-31 victory over English giants Wasps.

Dragons: Ioan Davies, Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Jordan Olowofela, Sam Davies, Dan Babos, Aki Seiuli, Ellis Shipp, Mesake Doge, Ben Carter, Will Rowlands, Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty (c).

Replacements: James Benjamin, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Ollie Griffiths, Ben Fry, Lewis Jones, Josh Lewis, Adam Warren, Evan Lloyd, Jordan Williams.

Wasps: Ali Crossdale, Marcus Watson, Malakai Fekitoa, Michael Le Bourgeois, Josh Bassett, Jacob Umaga, Dan Robson, Robin Hislop, Tom Cruse, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Vaea Fifita, Elliott Stooke, Brad Shields (c), Thomas Young, Tom Willis

Replacements: Dan Frost, Ben Harris, Biyi Alo, Tim Cardall, Ben Morris, Sam Wolstenholme, Jimmy Gopperth, Zach Kibirige, Elliot Millar-Mills, Mario Pichardie, Kieran Curran, Will Porter, Rob Miller, Will Simonds, Sam Spink, Matteo Minozzi, Luke Mehson.

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