Tovey magic stuns Ulster
A match-winning solo display from Wales U20 international Jason Tovey inspired Dragons to a 26-16 victory over Ulster.
Last Updated: 22/02/09 6:47pm
A match-winning solo display from Wales U20 international Jason Tovey inspired Newport-Gwent Dragons to a 26-16 victory over Ulster at Rodney Parade.
The Dragons trailed 16-8 with 18 minutes remaining but Tovey, via three tries and eight points with the boot, propelled Paul Turner's men to a 10-point victory which sees them leapfrog both Cardiff Blues and Ulster into seventh place in the table.
The match between the Magners League basement strugglers did not start or finish well for Ulster as prop Tom Court was sent to the sin-bin for tripping home scrum-half Wayne Evans after four minutes.
The Dragons took full advantage of their extra man when a neat move upfield saw centre Ashley Smith give Tovey a clear run to the line.
Ulster hit back quickly as fly-half Ian Humphreys fired over a penalty but the game failed to settle into any rhythm as mistakes riddled the remainder of the first half.
The biggest error came when flanker Joe Bearman, the last line of home defence, failed to hold onto the ball from a kick into his 22 and Scotland wing Simon Danielli waltzed over, making Humphreys' conversion simple.
The Dragons began the second half on the offensive, and fly-half Shaun Connor, whose confidence was dented in the first-half by a couple of glaring errors, missed with two long-range kicks before landing a third from 45 metres to slash the deficit to 10-8.
However, the hosts shot themselves in the foot almost immediately when Wales prop Rhys Thomas was guilty of a late tackle on visiting full-back Clinton Schifcofske and spent 10 minutes in the bin.
Schifcofske fired over the penalty and, when the Dragons went offside in midfield soon after, the former rugby league back booted the Irishmen into an eight-point advantage.
Coach Turner brought on former Wales full-back Kevin Morgan in place of Connor for his first game this season following serious injury but it was looking ominous for the Dragons as the hour mark came and went.
Tovey, though, had other ideas and he brought his side back to within a try of their opponents with a 25-metre penalty.
And, when Ulster captain Kieron Dawson was sent to the bin for illegal hands in a ruck, the Welshmen struck again.
It was the impressive Tovey, now in Connor's fly-half role, who went over in the corner for the try that levelled the match.
The 19-year-old slammed over another penalty with three minutes remaining and then intercepted a pass in the Ulster 22 in the last minute to go under the posts, convert, and seal a superb solo display.