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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
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 11th January|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 17th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|TBC||Newcastle vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 24th January|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Stade Francais|
|Saturday 31st January|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|Saturday 28th February|
|TBC||Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 7th March|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Friday 12th December|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|Dragons 69 - 17 Bucuresti|
|Saturday 6th December|
|Bucuresti 10 - 37 Dragons|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Friday 21st November|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Friday 14th November|
|Ospreys 35 - 51 Dragons|
|Friday 7th November|
|Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com