Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons 26-8 Treviso
|Guinness Pro12: Dragons v Treviso|
|Newport Gwent Dragons (13) 26 Tries: Pretorius, Evans Cons: O'Brien, Jones Pens: O'Brien 3 Drop-goal: O'Brien|
|Treviso (8) 8 Tries: Tebaldi Pens: Allen|
Newport Gwent Dragons battled to a comfortable 26-8 victory over Treviso to move eight points ahead of the Italians and up into ninth place in the Pro12 table.
Fly-half Angus O'Brien kicked 14 points while there were tries for Sarel Pretorius and captain Lewis Evans.
Tito Tebaldi scored with an early opportunist effort for Treviso.
It was a solid performance from the Dragons on a heavy surface that made running rugby difficult.
The hosts opened the scoring with an early O'Brien penalty at the end of a difficult week which saw them scoreless in their defeat by the Ospreys, followed by the Welsh Rugby Union's admission it could take the region over if it failed to improve its fortunes.
But they gifted a seventh-minute try to ex-Ospreys scrum-half Tebaldi, who dashed 30 metres after a fortunate bounce from a Dragons high kick.
The home side were roused into life after Allen's penalty made it 8-3, with scrum-half Pretorius nipping over after 27 minutes following a series of thrusts from the pack, O'Brien converting.
Pretorius ended the half in the sin-bin after a deliberate knock-on in defence, but the Dragons nudged further ahead at 13-8 with a second O'Brien penalty on the stroke of the interval.
The Dragons continued to prove more efficient at turning pressure into points with O'Brien slotting over a drop-goal ten minutes after the break and a third penalty on 54 minutes.
Flanker Evans made sure of the win with a close-range try on 67 minutes, converted by replacement Dorian Jones.
It was never likely to be a spectacular affair on a glue-pot pitch but the Dragons' hard-working effort deserved a return to winning ways ahead of their European Challenge Cup campaign, which sees them needing victories at home to Enisei-STM and away to Brive.
Dragons: Carl Meyer; Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Adam Warren, Pat Howard; Angus O'Brien, Sarel Pretorius; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Nick Crosswell, Cory Hill, Lewis Evans (capt), Ollie Griffiths, Ed Jackson.
Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Sam Hobbs, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman, Nic Cudd, Tavis Knoyle, Dorian Jones, Jack Dixon.
Treviso: Luke McLean; Andrea Pratichetti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi (capt), Luca Sperandio; Tommaso Allan, Tito Tebaldi; Alberto de Marchi, Davide Giazzon, Matteo Zanusso, Marco Fuser, Dean Budd, Roberto Barbieri, Braam Steyn, Marco Barbini.
Replacements: Ornel Gega, Federico Zani, Tiziano Pasquali, Teofilo Paulo, Marco Lazzaroni, Giorgio Bronzini, Ian McKinley, Tommaso Iannone.
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (SRU), Sean Brickell (WRU)