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Match Reaction: Newport Gwent Dragons 36 Scarlets 21

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Shaun Connor admits his Newport Gwent Dragons side were far from their best in their Anglo-Welsh Cup victory against Scarlets but praised his players for getting the job done.

Two tries from centre Sam Beard, along with scores from Nick Crosswell, Carl Meyer and Harrison Keddie earned the hosts a bonus-point victory.

Scarlets were hampered by the straight red card handed out to former Dragons player Jack Condy, and the home side made the extra man advantage count.

Click here for the latest fixtures and results from the Anglo-Welsh Cup

But backs coach Connor insists there is plenty more to come from his side this season.

“We’re not so happy with the performance but the result was good for us. We were quite sloppy in the first half but were more accurate in the second,” he said.

“We always knew it would take time to wear them down and knew it would come down to the last 15 to 20 minutes.

“We had an experienced side out but there were a lot of youngsters in it as well – Ollie Griffiths, Leon Brown, Harri Keddie, Ashton Hewitt.


“The difference is that our youngsters have played a lot of rugby over the last few months and it’s a positive that we have to blood them early.

“Now we go to Edinburgh in the PRO12 with a lot of confidence after winning three on the bounce at home. The crowd were fantastic again here so we are looking to give them a lot to cheer.”

Scarlets coach Ioan Cunningham admitted the red card took the wind out of their sails but hailed the character his side showed in fighting right to the end.

“The red card definitely had an impact on the game but I’ve got to give credit to our players, we showed great character and some of our defensive sets at the end were outstanding,” he said.

Click here for the latest Anglo-Welsh Cup tables and an explanation of the format of the tournament

“This group will grow from this experience, we stepped up against a strong Dragons side with players who regularly turn out in the PRO12.

“We will have to review the red properly and look at all angles before we comment. I don’t know if we would have gone on to win but we definitely had the upper hand and momentum when it happened. It did have an impact.

“But the two weeks of Anglo-Welsh has been great for us, we’ve had some answers on players and developed the group.”

For full details of the Anglo-Welsh Cup and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com

Newport Gwent Dragons: Meyer, Howard, Beard, Warren (Morgan 58), Hewitt, O’Brien (Robson 77), Pretorius (Knoyle 45), Hobbs (Davies 45), Buckley (Thomas 45), Brown (Harris 45), Crosswell, Landman (Screech 58), Keddie, Griffiths (Cudd 64), Jackson.

Scarlets: Williams, Smith, Nicholas, Owen (McBride 44), Baldwin, Jones (Maynard 61), A Davies (Smith 61), Evans (Garrett 52), Hughes (T Davies 40), Thomas (Gardiner 70), Beirne, Bernardo, Condy, Macleod (Phillips 52), Allen.

Replacements:  Thompson

 

Newport Gwent Dragons

Tries: Beard (2), Crosswell, Meyer, Keddie

Conversions: O’Brien (3), Robson

Penalty: O’Brien

 

Scarlets

Tries: Hughes, Baldwin

Conversions: Jones

Penalties: Jones (3)

Red card: Condy

 

Referee: Mike Adamson

Attendance: 3,539

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