Newport Gwent Dragons 6-18 Newcastle Falcons: Visitors win drenched affair
Last Updated: 29/01/17 6:22pm
Newcastle grabbed their first Anglo-Welsh Cup victory in three attempts this season at an almost flooded Rodney Parade in Newport.
Mark Wilson and wing Belisario Agulla scored Falcons' tries, with scrum-half Sonatane Takulua converting the first and scoring two penalties either side of half-time. Dragons wing Tom Prydie contributed the Welsh region's two penalties.
Referee John Meredith and both captains agreed to give the game a go despite the pitch having turned into a mudbath.
The Dragons were first on the scoreboard when Wales international Prydie booted a 30-metre penalty.
Both teams battled well and tried to play some rugby in the conditions. The Dragons had the Falcons penned in their own 22 a number of times, but silly penalties allowed Newcastle to clear their lines.
The visitors grabbed the first try of the match after 20 minutes when they advanced to the Dragons' five-metre line. A clean catch saw the Falcons pack drive left and Wilson emerged from the heap of bodies for the try which Takulua converted.
The match inevitably turned into a push-and-shove affair between the defences as conditions deteriorated even further.
The Dragons clawed their way back to within a point when Newcastle were penalised in their own 22 for Prydie to add a second penalty.
However, Newcastle fought back when they again put the Dragons onto their own five-metre line on the left. A good take from Evan Olmstead set up a maul which, a few tackles later, saw the home side stretched on the right.
Fly-half Joel Hodgson glanced across to see Agulla in space and the wing had an easy run-in for the unconverted touchdown.
Moments before the break, the Dragons were penalised 35 metres from their own line for Takulua to land the penalty and give the Falcons a 15-6 lead.
The rain came down even harder during half-time and the match was under real threat of being called off, but the match resumed.
Takulua quickly extended the Falcons' lead with a simple 15-metre penalty, and the remarkable match even saw a change of referee early in the second half when touch judge Gareth John came on for Middlesbrough's Meredith.
Dragons lock Rynard Landman was yellow-carded for a ruck infringement as the Falcons tied the home side in knots up front. But, with pools of water on the pitch, the ref called the two captains together on 69 minutes and all parties agreed to abandon the match. Despite the match being ended early, the result stands.