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Stormers fight back to get better of Dragons

MATCH REPORT: The Stormers, ignited by a brilliant second-half performance, marched on in their United Rugby Championship quest after a successful outing against Dragons at Rodney Parade in Newport.

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The Stormers scored five tries en route to their 44-21 victory over the Dragons.

With this performance, the Stormers took a giant step towards sealing a URC play-off spot.

The South Africans were made to work hard for their bonus-point victory as they trailed until the final quarter before blowing Dragons away with three late tries.

Angelo Davids and replacement Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu scored two tries each for the fifth-placed visitors, with Evan Roos also touching down and Manie Libbok converting all five and adding three penalties.

The Dragons, looking to claim only a fourth win of the season that would have lifted them out of the bottom two, began strongly with powerful bursts from Wainwright and Keddie putting their opponents on the back foot and they were rewarded when a penalty from Reed gave them an early lead.

Eventually, the Stormers awoke from their slumber to score a splendid try.

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Reed dropped an up and under and he was made to pay for his error when a pinpoint cross-field kick from Warrick Gelant saw Davids collect before displaying too much pace for Dragons’ cover defence.

Libbok converted but his side still trailed 11-10 at the interval.

The visitors took the lead for the first time six minutes into the second half thanks to a second penalty from Libbok but that was soon nullified by a third successful kick from Reed.

Another scrum penalty saw Libbok again on target but Wainwright crashed over from close range, and O’Brien conversion gave Dragons a 21-16 lead going into the final quarter and a chance for an upset.

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But the Stormers upped their game and relentless pressure ended with Davids squeezing over for his second try of the match in the 65th minute before Dragons lost prop Rodrigo Martinez to the sin bin for repeated scrum infringements.

The Stormers took full advantage to put the game beyond their host, with Roos finishing off a driving line-out before Feinberg-Mngomezulu added two tries in quick succession to break Dragons hearts.

Man of the Match: Warrick Gelant with most carries, most metres, and just overall brilliant, especially in the second half.

Scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: Keddie, Wainwright
Cons: O’Brien
Pens: Reed 3

For Stormers:
Tries: Davids 2, Roos, Mngomezulu
Cons: Libbok 3
Pens: Libbok 3

Teams:

Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Steff Hughes (captain), 12 Aneurin Owen, 11 Chris Hollis, 10 Will Reed, 9 Dane Blacker, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Harri Keddie, 6 Sean Lonsdale,5 George Nott, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Chris Coleman, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Rhodri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Brodie Coghlan, 17 Rodrigo Martinez, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 James Benjamin, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Morgan Lloyd, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Sio Tomkinson.

Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Maickel English (Wales) and Gareth Newman (Wales)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

@URC

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