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Newport Gwent D'gons


  • Penalty goals: Tovey (4),
    Drop goals: Tovey,
15 - 8

Ulster

  • Wilson,
    Penalty goals: Jackson,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 6th Sep 2013
  • KO 19:15
  • Ground: Rodney Parade, Newport
  • Att: 5,165

RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster lose to Dragons on opening night

Last updated: 9th September 2013  

Paddy Jackson Ireland v France

Paddy Jackson: Ulster and Ireland goalkicker

Jason Tovey Dragons 2011

Jason Tovey: five kicks proved crucial

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The Dragons picked up an impressive 15-8 victory over Ulster in their RaboDirect PRO12 opener at Rodney Parade on Friday.

Five kicks from man-of the match Jason Tovey saw the Dragons secure a morale-boosting win, cancelling out Roger Wilson's try for last year's finalists.

Tovey edged the hosts ahead on eight minutes, when he slotted over a neat drop-goal.

The Ulster scrum earned a deserved penalty on twelve minutes, following some tremendous work which led to Paddy Jackson duly levelling the scores. Tovey restored parity on fifteen minutes, however.

The penalty count accumulated for both teams; with the ball being fiercely contested on the floor. One such concession saw Ulster launch a formidable maul just yards from the home try line; ending with Roger Wilson touching down to make it 6-8.

Ulster's scrum ascendancy yielded another penalty on 33 minutes, but Jackson suffered a dreadful miss.

Tovey likewise missed a difficult attempt on 38 minutes. By the cusp of half-time, the Welsh hosts had begun to find their rhythm, and were subjecting last year's beaten finalists to discernible pressure.

It was Tovey who scored the first points of the second half on 49 minutes, when he landed a penalty following poor Ulster control at the breakdown.

Cushion

Tovey extended the Dragons' lead on 59 minutes; earning the Welsh side a thoroughly deserved four-point cushion.

The introduction of a raft of substitutes on 65 minutes galvanised the Irishmen; Ian Porter and Sean Doyle in particular threatening with ball in hand. But the game refused to ignite, and the Dragons defended stoutly.

A stellar break by centre Jack Dixon saw him find Richie Rees in space, creating another penalty opportunity for that man Tovey on 70 minutes. The number ten continued his imperious form to make it 15-8 to the hosts.

Ulster were now desperately trying to salvage the game. Replacement fly-half James McKinney went to the corner on 73 minutes, and the away forwards subsequently camped in the home 22. But the Dragons' rearguard was simply magnificent. The hosts were able to clear their lines, therefore, and winning a couple of crucial penalties at scrum time assisted their cause.

It was the Welshmen who held on to seal a thoroughly deserved victory that guarantees their league campaign the best possible start. Ulster will rue a litany of errors, but for the Dragons this was a statement of early season promise.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - October 12 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 6 5
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 31st October
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ospreys vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Leinster vs Edinburgh
Saturday 1st November
17:15Cardiff Blues vs Munster
18:00Scarlets vs Zebre
19:35Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 21st November
19:30Newport Gwent D'gons vs Munster
19:35Ulster vs Ospreys
19:35Connacht vs Zebre
19:35Scarlets vs Glasgow
Sunday 23rd November
14:30Benetton Treviso vs Leinster
16:00Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 28th November
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Munster vs Ulster
Saturday 29th November
16:00Zebre vs Edinburgh
17:15Leinster vs Ospreys
19:30Connacht vs Scarlets
Sunday 30th November
16:00Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 19th December
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets
19:35Edinburgh vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Leinster vs Connacht
Saturday 20th December
14:40Glasgow vs Munster
17:15Ospreys vs Ulster
Sunday 21st December
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Zebre
Friday 26th December
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons

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Phil Edwards

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