RaboDirect PRO12: Newport Gwent Dragons edge out Glasgow Warriors
Last Updated: 23/02/14 5:32pm
Cory Hill: Crossed for Newport Gwent Dragons
Newport Gwent Dragons inflicted just the third defeat of the RaboDirect PRO12 season on Glasgow Warriors with a 24-23 victory.
There was only one spell when there was more than a try between the sides as the Dragons went over through prop Owen Evans, lock Cory Hill and replacement wing Ross Wardle against touchdowns for the Warriors by flanker Rob Hartley and scrum-half Niko Matawalu.
Dragons were also on target with the boot via a penalty and conversion from fly-half Jason Tovey and two conversions from full-back Rhys Jones against two penalties and two conversions for Glasgow stand-off Finn Russell and a long-range penalty by centre Mark Bennett.
Glasgow made their intentions known from the start as they hit the Dragons with a sucker-punch within two minutes of kick-off.
Tovey was aiming to hoof the Dragons downfield from near his own 22 but the kick only found the outstretched arms of the marauding Hartley, whose charge-down sent the ball scurrying back towards the home line and gave the flanker an easy touchdown.
Russell converted but Glasgow were soon pegged back when an infringement 25 metres out saw Tovey land a penalty.
It was all a bit frantic at the start but the inclusion of former Bath and England tighthead prop Duncan Bell, who has come out of retirement to help with the Welsh region's troubled front row, gave the Dragons a stable platform for the first time in a while.
A Dragons mistake on the halfway line brought big-kicking Bennett onto the stage, and he made no mistake to restore Glasgow's seven-point advantage.
But that scrum platform helped with the Dragons' confidence and, from a break by Wales lock Andrew Coombs, who was released from RSB 6 Nations duty by Warren Gatland to play this weekend, the Welshmen drew level.
Coombs fed wing Matthew Pewtner and when he was about to be caught on the right and 22 metres out, he looked inside to see Evans, fed the youngster a superb pass and watched him score the try which Tovey converted.
Bennett missed with another long penalty but Glasgow went into the break 17-10 ahead when Fijian scrum-half Matawalu collected a chip over the top of the Welsh defence which landed on halfway and then stormed 50 metres to the line, with Russell converting.
The match calmed down before the hour, with a Russell penalty taking Glasgow 10 points ahead.
But it revved up again when home scrum-half Richie Rees dashed to the line and fed Hill for his try and, after Russell added his second penalty, a charged-down clearance saw Wardle go in and Jones kick a touchline conversion to put the Dragons a point in front.
Glasgow battled to the last but a final mistake ended their afternoon with only a losing bonus point to show for it.
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht13 - 31Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues23 - 31Ospreys
Munster30 - 19Treviso
Dragons10 - 29Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 R15
Connacht opened up an eight-point gap at the bottom of the PRO12 standings after beating Zebre 27-19 on Sunday.
Munster returned to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with a 25-11 victory over Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.
Darren Cave and Robbie Diack tries helped Ulster beat Treviso 14-12 in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Sunday.