Pro12: Connacht 29-23 Newport Gwent Dragons

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Dragons' Nick Scott is pushed into touch by Tiernan O'Halloran of Connacht
Dragons' Nick Scott is pushed into touch by Tiernan O'Halloran of Connacht
Connacht (14) 29
Tries: Fox-Matamua, Poolman, Carr Cons: Carty Pens: Carty 4
Dragons (3) 23
Tries: Pretorius, J Thomas Cons: Tovey 2 Pens: Tovey 2, Prydie

Connacht sealed a 29-23 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons thanks to a long-distance Fionn Carr try set up by Bundee Aki three minutes from time.

But a last-gasp penalty from Tom Prydie was then just enough to salvage a losing bonus point for Dragons.

The visitors paid the price for a higher error count, but managed tries from impressive scrum-half Sarel Pretorius and replacement James Thomas.

Connacht's other tries came from Nepia Fox-Matamua and Danie Poolman.

Jack Carty kicked 14 points for the home side, with Jason Tovey replying with 10 of his own for Dragons.

Defence costs Dragons dear

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones was left ruing the late breakaway that cost his team any chance of snatching a late win.

"Bundee Aki who was very good all night just broke a tackle and they ran the length of the field, and that was typical of what went on tonight," he said.

"We had a few rucks on their line and the ball popped out and they relieved pressure, while they were effective and accurate in our 22 in scoring points.

"But as far as I'm concerned the performance was very good from us and it bodes well for the rest of the year."

Dragons host last year's bottom side Zebre next week, while Connacht travel to champions Glasgow Warriors.


Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran; Danie Poolman, Rory Parata, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne, John Muldoon (captain), Nepia Fox-Matamua, Eoghan Masterson

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Ben Marshall, Eoin McKeon, John Cooney, Craig Ronaldson, Fionn Carr

Dragons: Meyer, Prydie, Wardle, Warren, Scott, Tovey, Pretorius; Stankovich, TR Thomas (capt), Knight, Hill, Landman, Crosswell, Cudd, Jackson.

Replacements: Gustafson, Price, Harris, J Thomas, Benjamin, C Davies, D Jones, Morgan.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 7th competition game)

Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan, Mark Connolly (both IRFU)

Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)