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RaboDirect PRO12: Dragons too strong for fellow-strugglers Connacht
The Dragons claimed just their third RaboDirect PRO12 win of the season with a 14-3 victory over Connacht at Rodney Parade.
Patrick Leach scored the only try of the game just before half-time, while Tom Prydie kicked three penalties for the hosts.
Dan Parks' early penalty nudged Connacht ahead early on but they could not score again.
The Irish province did the double over the Dragons last season, including a well-earned win at Rodney Parade, but never looked likely to repeat the trick when they fell a score behind early in the second half.
The Dragons headed into the game on the back of seven successive defeats, while Connacht - whose captain Gavin Duffy was making his first start of the season - were chasing back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
The Irishmen were adapting better to the awful conditions but it was level-pegging on 25 minutes when Dragons full-back Prydie kicked his first penalty, with Connacht hooker Jason Harris-Wright sin-binned in the process.
And the visitors were under pressure when back row forward Andrew Brown was also yellow-carded.
The Dragons took their chance and had an 8-3 half-time lead when centre Leach slid over in the left hand corner, and they took total command with half an hour left when a brace of Prydie penalties put them 14-3 ahead.
Connacht were given a chance when Dragons captain and flanker Lewis Evans became the third man to be sent to the sin-bin.
But they were far too error-strewn to make their sudden dominance of possession and territory count, with a number of scrums and lineouts close to the Dragons' line going to waste.
The Welsh side defended their line with plenty of commitment until the final whistle, to notch just their third victory of a troubled campaign.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Munster|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Ulster|
|Sunday 21st December|
|16:00||Dragons vs Zebre|
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
|Friday 31st October|
|Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht|
|Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso|
|Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com