Dragons' comeback floors Glasgow
MATCH REPORT: Sam Davies kicked 16 points as Dragons pulled off a morale-boosting 26-17 victory over Glasgow Warriors at the Principality Stadium.
With this win, Dragons pulled level with fourth-placed Glasgow on 25 points in the Guinness PRO14’s Conference A, with both teams having one game to play.
Jordan Williams and Matthew Screech scored Dragons’ tries, with Davies kicking four penalties and two conversions.
Fraser Brown and Rufus McLean touched down for Glasgow, while Adam Hastings kicked a penalty and two conversions.
Dragons suffered a blow when full-back Josh Lewis was injured in the warm-up, with Williams stepping up from the bench to take his place.
They overcame this to take a seventh-minute lead with a straightforward penalty from Davies but soon received another setback when flanker Ollie Griffiths departed with an arm injury.
Replacement Ben Fry lasted only two minutes before his no-arms tackle saw him sent to the sin-bin.
Glasgow immediately capitalised with a strong line-out drive to create a try for Brown, who celebrated his return to action after a five-month absence with a neck injury.
Hastings converted before he joined Fry in the sin-bin for a high tackle on Dragons wing Ashton Hewitt. It was Hastings’ first match back after serving a three-match suspension.
Davies kicked the resulting penalty before both sides lost players through injury, with Jamie Roberts and Glasgow lock Kiran McDonald departing.
The hosts appeared to have scored their first try when scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou quickly took a short penalty to dart away before crashing over.
In the process he was challenged by opposite number Sean Kennedy and the TMO ruled that the ball had slipped from the Dragon’s grasp.
Davies regained the lead for his side with his third penalty before McLean scored one of the tries of the season as he raced in from 80 metres.
Hastings converted before adding a penalty to give Glasgow a 17-9 interval lead.
Three minutes after the restart, Glasgow captain Ryan Wilson was yellow-carded for collapsing a maul before Davies kicked his fourth penalty to take him to 100 points in the PRO14 this season.
Wilson returned from the sin-bin with the Dragons having failed to take any real advantage of his absence as a malfunctioning line-out cost them dear.
Dragons’ Rhodri Williams came on for his 100th PRO14 appearance and immediately the hosts produced a superb try when skilful passing put Jordan Williams in the clear and the full-back made no mistake with some incisive running.
That try was the spur Dragons needed as they soon added another when Screech forced his way over from close range.
With four minutes remaining Rhodri Williams was sin-binned for a deliberate offside, but determined defence from the hosts kept their line intact to deprive Glasgow of a losing bonus point.
Tries: J Williams, Screech
Cons: S Davies 2
Pens: S Davies 4
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Brown, Maclean
Cons: Hastings 2
Dragons: 15 Josh Lewis, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Aneurin Owen, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Harrison Keddie (captain), 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Brok Harris
Replacements: 16 Rhys Lawrence, 17 Josh Reynolds, 18 Chris Coleman, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Ben Fry, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Jordan Williams
Glasgow: 15 Adam Hastings, 14 Rufus McLean, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Robbie Fergusson, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Ryan Wilson (captain), 7 Thomas Gordon, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Aki Seiuli
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Fotu Lokotui, 21 Jamie Dobie, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Ollie Smith
Referee: Daniel Jones
Assistant Referees: Aled Evans and Gwyn Morris
TMO: Sean Brickell