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Newport-Gwent D'gons

  • Tuilagi, Harries, Evans (2),
    Penalty goals: Prydie (2),
    Drop goals: Jones,
    Conversions: Prydie (4),
37 - 6

Zebre


  • Penalty goals: Orquera (2),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 31st Aug 2012
  • KO 19:00
  • Ground: Rodney Parade, Newport
  • Att: 4,540

Flying start for Dragons

New boys have plenty to work on

Last updated: 31st August 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Tom Prydie Wales 2010

Tom Prydie: kicked four conversions and two penalties

Dan Evans

Dan Evans: two first-half tries

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Newport Gwent Dragons kicked off the new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with a bonus point victory over new Italian outfit Zebre at Rodney Parade.

It was a rousing first-half performance by the Welshmen as Dan Evans grabbed two first-half tries with others coming from centre Andy Tuilagi and wing Will Harries.

Wing Tom Prydie kicked four conversions and two penalties and fly-half Steffan Jones added a drop-goal against two penalties for Zebre's fly-half Luciano Orquera.

The Dragons had their four tries and bonus point in the bag by the break with probable and possible Welsh caps for the big Autumn Test matches against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia watched by national coach Warren Gatland and assistant Neil Jenkins from the stand.

Gatland would have been impressed by the very early season form of regular Wales stars Dan Lydiate and Toby Faetau, who both had good run-outs against a Zebre side who showed plenty of fighting spirit for their debut in the competition.

However, as reasonable as the Italians were in attack, their defence was found wanting when stretched, leaving them way off the pace at 34-6 at half-time.

Full-back Evans had a glorious 40 minutes. The Wales Under-20 cap, making his debut for the Gwent side after five seasons at the Scarlets, set-up the first try of the campaign for powerful Tuilagi on 13 minutes before scoring two himself towards the end of the half.

But none of those three tries matched the cracker on 19 minutes which came after a thumping tackle inside the home 22 saw hooker Steve Jones, another on Gatland's possible list, retrieve the ball.

The Dragons skipper ran out and gave it to Prydie before the ex-Wales wing produced a piece of quick-thinking.

Storm over

He was tackled into touch but threw the ball straight back into play, found Jones who laid the ball to Harries to storm over.

Jones booted a drop-goal while Prydie added all four conversions to an early penalty against two penalties from Zebre stand-off Lucian Orquera.

The concern for Dragons coach Darren Edwards, though, must have been how his side dropped the intensity in the second half having established such a big lead.

Zebre, with the pack working as a unit and a wily scrum-half in 14-times Italy capped Tito Tebaldi behind, put pressure on the Welshmen for quite a while in the second period but failed to find a route to the line.

As the clocked ticked over the hour mark, the Dragons finally got the scoreboard moving again when Zebre infringed in front of their posts and Prydie popped over his second penalty.

To their credit, the Italians were enterprising in attack all night with the ball in hand and were not worried about throwing it around via the forwards or backs - which kept the home side on their toes.

But it was not a good second-half for the Dragons.

Nevertheless, Gatland and Jenkins left the ground a few minutes before the end having seen a job well done - although it goes from one extreme to the next in the Dragons' second league game where they play last season's runners-up and Heineken Cup champions Leinster in Dublin.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - December 21 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 10 9
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Sunday 21st December
Guinness PRO12
16:00Dragons vs Zebre
Friday 26th December
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Dragons
17:00Munster vs Leinster
18:45Ulster vs Connacht
Saturday 27th December
14:40Glasgow vs Edinburgh
17:15Ospreys vs Scarlets
Sunday 28th December
14:00Zebre vs Treviso
Thursday 1st January
14:05Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues
17:00Connacht vs Munster
Friday 2nd January
19:35Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Treviso vs Zebre
14:40Leinster vs Ulster
17:05Scarlets vs Ospreys
Friday 9th January
19:35Connacht vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Scarlets
Saturday 10th January
14:40Cardiff Blues vs Leinster
15:00Zebre vs Munster
Sunday 11th January
14:00Treviso vs Ulster
16:00Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Wednesday 14th January
TBCLeinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCScarlets vs Connacht
TBCEdinburgh vs Ospreys
TBCUlster vs Benetton Treviso
TBCZebre vs Glasgow
TBCMunster vs Cardiff Blues

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Phil Edwards

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