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DRAGONS 27 SAINTS 25 Saints downed in wet Wales

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

A first half double from George Pisi and James Wilson’s effort had put the visitors 25-13, but roared on by a good turnout in atrocious conditions, Dragons pounced twice in the final five minutes for a smash and grab win.

 

Persistent rain made conditions tough for both sides with the ball slippery in hand and the ground even wetter under foot.

 

The Saints took the lead from early on with Will Hooley opening the scoring, slotting a penalty with just seven minutes on the clock. Dragons replied with a penalty soon after through Jason Tovey and it was the fly half’s boot that relieved large period of pressure on the home line as the half wore on.

 

Will Hooley broke the stalemate with 31 minutes on the clock, knocking over a a drop goal with and advantage being played and the first try followed soon after.

 

Luther Burrell kicked delicately across field, Ken Pisi gathered and his inside ball was juggled by  Lee Dickson to George Pisi, who pushed over the line.

 

The Samoan was in again quickly, too, a charge down leading to the centre crossing the line for a second time, followed by a successful conversion from Hooley. A penalty reply from Tovey left the score at 6-18 going into half time but again it was the Saints who were on top as the teams re-emerged.

 

A series of replacements for the Saints in the first 10 minutes of the second half gave the side a boost but the fresh legs couldn’t stop the Dragons scoring their first try in response. A mid-air collision led to the ball bouncing free and Aled Brew scooped up to take advantage.

 

As the rain continued to pour, the Saints managed to keep control of a slippery ball and a series of controlled passes allowed James Wilson to strongly finish an excellently crafted try, Hooley again successfully converting.

 

But despite defending their lead comfortably as the clock ticked down, the Dragons responded with 77 minutes on the clock.

 

Off turnover ball, Corey Hill went under the posts and a just a minute from time, a high kick bounced around, again fortuotously.

 

That allowed Tom Prydie through the wing also converting his own try to take Dragons in front for the first time and, crucially, there was little time for the Saints to reply.

 

DRAGONS: Byrne; Prydie, Leach, Dixon, Brew; Tovey, Evans; Stankovich, Dee, Fairbrother, Landman, Screech, Coombs, Cudd, Powell

 

Reps: Rhys Thomas, Evans, Young, Way, Gough, Hill, Evans, Thomas, Matthews, Benjamin, Jones, Morgan, Pewtner, Nightingale, Rhys Jones, Rees, O’Brien

 

Scorers: Tries - Brew, Hill, Tovey; Cons - Tovey, Prydie (2); Pens - Tovey (2)

 

SAINTS: Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Hooley, Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley, Ma’afu, Lawes, Day, Clark, Wood, Manoa

 

Reps: McMillan, A Waller, Denman, Craig, Dolan, Harrison, Fisher, Fotuali’i, Waldouck, Elliott, Packman, Skelcey, Olver

Scorers: Tries - G Pisi (2), Wilson; Cons - Hooley (2); Pens: Hooley (2)