Dragons score 17 unanswered points in comeback win over Leinster
Last Updated: 12/04/15 10:57pm
Newport Gwent Dragons came from behind to record a stunning 25-22 bonus-point victory over Leinster at Rodney Parade.
The hosts scored three unanswered tries in the final 20 minutes, with James Benjamin bagging a brace as they recorded a season double over the reigning Guinness PRO12 champions.
The Dragons took an early advantage when Jason Tovey opened their account with a 30-metre penalty and they increased their lead on 12 minutes when Tomas Rhys Thomas touched down from a rolling maul.
Leinster began to find their feet and Jimmy Gopperth slotted a simple penalty on 19 minutes to land their first points of the contest.
The Dragons had a few more thrusts into opposition territory and their pack were performing well in both the loose and tight situations, but they were hit by a double body blow on the strike of half-time.
Ben Te’o burst past Jack Dixon from Eoin Reddan’s pass to score on 38 minutes, before Gopperth raced away from prop Phil Price and scrum-half Jonathan Evans to give the Irish province a 15-8 lead at the break.
And just 10 minutes into the second period, Te'o did it again as this time he surged through a gap when the door was left open by Tyler Morgan and Dorian Jones.
The Kiwi went under the posts to make Gopperth's conversion simple and put Leinster 14 points ahead and seemingly cruising towards the win.
However, the Dragons hit back when they reached the Leinster goal-line and Dixon drove over under a pile of bodies, with Tovey adding the extras.
Leinster were then a man down when Te'o was sin-binned for a high tackle on Dixon, and that allowed the Dragons to build even more pressure.
It paid off with 11 minutes remaining when Taulupe Faletau charged down an attempted clearance from in front of his posts by Redden for replacement Benjamin to drive over.
And Benjamin sealed a stunning comeback five minutes later when he went over in the left corner, severely denting Leinster’s semi-final hopes in the process.