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Saints Under-18s suffer narrow Dragons defeat

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Saints Under-18s suffered a narrow 22-19 defeat against the Newport Gwent Dragons on a hot and sunny afternoon at Franklin's Gardens.

The Dragons were the first on the scoreboard, scoring two tries in the second half to give themselves a 10-0 lead. Two Saints tries, both scored by captain Fraser Dingwall, then came either side of two further scores from the Dragons to make the score 22-12 as the match entered its final stages.

With just minutes left on the clock, the Saints broke out of their own half with a superb counter attack down the left, and with a try certain to be scored, winger Faysal Olabooye was tackled off the ball. The referee awarded a penalty try to close the gap to just three points. The Dragons held on, however, to secure a 22-19 victory in the Saints' final pre-season match.

Speaking after the match, Saints Academy coach Mark Hopley, said: "I thought we started the game really slowly.

"It was tough conditions as it was really hot out there for the boys. We started the game poorly and we didn't look after the ball well enough, and we didn't put our phases together. As a result of that, the Dragons scored some easy, soft tries.

"All credit to us though; we knuckled down after being three or four scores down and we came back. On a different day we would have nicked it at the end but all credit to Newport Gwent Dragons. They were very physical and probably deserved the win today.

"What is pleasing is that we've got to see a lot of lads. We've had a really tough pre-season having played Wasps and travelled to Dublin and we finished here against Newport. In that period of time we have seen lots of players and the lads that stepped in today and played in that first game did themselves proud."