LV= Cup: Northampton Saints deny Newport Gwent Dragons
Last Updated: 18/11/12 6:09pm
Samu Manoa makes some hard yards for Northampton
Wing Tonderai Chavhanga scored a hat-trick of tries for Newport Gwent Dragons in a losing cause as Northampton won 30-20 at Rodney Parade.
Stand-off Ryan Lamb booted 20 points as the Saints turned on the style after the interval to overturn a 10-6 half-time deficit, with flanker Phil Dowson and wing Jamie Elliott crossing for the visitors.
The Dragons got over the try-line first when wing Will Harries stormed in from 20 metres, but the pass to him from stand-off Dan Evans was ruled forward.
Lamb got the scoreboard ticking over on 13 minutes when he landed a 25-metre penalty and Northampton could have gone further clear when Elliott crossed on the left but was adjudged to have had a foot in touch.
But the Dragons would not lie down as their defence held firm and they made some decent inroads into the visitors' territory again and from an error on halfway by Northampton, Tom Prydie booted a 49-metre penalty to draw the Welsh region level.
Lamb landed his second kick five minutes from the break, before the Dragons got a deserved try with a neat move inside the Saints 22 from first phase.
Good line-out ball saw Evans deliver a midfield pass to centre Ashley Smith. He heard Chavhanga call for an offload and, when he obliged, the South African flyer stormed between Waldouck and fellow centre Luther Burrell to go over under the posts, making Prydie's conversion simple.
Lamb reduced the arrears to a point but a horrible mistake inside his own 22 by the stand-off, where he chipped the ball straight to waiting Dragons hands, saw Chavhanga get his second touchdown.
The rollercoaster took another twist when Dowson got under a pile of bodies to notch Saints' first try and Lamb's conversion put them ahead by a point. That proved the turning point as another six points from Lamb plus a try from Elliott sent Saints 12 points clear.
With Nathan Buck sin-binned for a ruck infringement, there was no way back for the Dragons. Chavhanga grabbed his hat-trick try nine minutes from the end but a Lamb drop-goal put Northampton out of sight.