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RaboDirect Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons too strong for Zebre
- Ulster comeback downs Ospreys
- Treviso ease past Connacht
- Early tries see Warriors win
- Keatley stars as Munster win
- Cardiff bag second victory
Newport Gwent Dragons returned to winning ways on Friday night following a 30-7 victory over Zebre in RaboDirect Pro12 action.
The Dragons moved 9-0 in front courtesy of three penalties from Jason Tovey and they made it a 16-point advantage before the break, thanks to Hallam Amos' try.
Amos' second of the game nine minutes after the restart assured the destination of the points, however the Italians did cross the tryline themselves through Leonardo Sarto.
The home side scored the final points of the game with Richie Rees going over just after the hour mark, Tovey's conversion was the third of the contest.
After a hectic start the visitors should have opened the scoring only for fly-half Luciano Orquera to strike the left upright with a simple penalty.
Instead that honour went to Tovey when the Dragons number 10 slotted over a three-pointer after 13 minutes and he doubled the lead when he repeated the trick five minutes later.
It looked like the hosts would go into the break 9-0 up courtesy of another Tovey penalty but on the stroke of half-time the Dragons scored their first try of the match.
Former New Zealand international Brendon Leonard was disposed at the base of a scrum 10 metres from the Zebre line and the Dragons pounced, Fijian back row forward Netani Talei putting teenage wing Amos over in the corner.
Tovey added to the Italians' pain when he superbly converted from the left touchline for a 16-0 lead at the break.
And the hosts secured the win eight minutes after the restart when Lions star Toby Faletau - impressive throughout - set up Amos for a second after a powerful charge from a scrum on halfway.
Tovey made it five kicks from five to stretch the lead to 23-0 but the Italians finally got on the scoresheet when wing Sarto gathered a kick to dot down in the right corner, Orquera adding the conversion.
But the Dragons regained their composure immediately and, with Zebre flanker Mauro Bergamasco in the sin bin, scrum-half Rees pounced after a dominant home scrum with Tovey again converting.
The hosts then piled on the pressure in the closing stages in a bid to secure their first four-try bonus point win since beating Zebre in the first game of last season.
But to the Italians' credit they stood firm despite the game being out of their reach, flinging their bodies on the line to prevent the Dragons from putting the cherry on top.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors 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||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com