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Newport Gwent Dragons 17 London Welsh 13

08 Feb 2015
Newport Gwent Dragons 17 London Welsh 13

Luckless London Welsh threw away a ten-point half-time lead to succumb to a narrow defeat at Newport Gwent Dragons in the final round of the LV= Cup pool stage.

Welsh registered their last competitive victory in June, defeating Bristol by a solitary point to seal promotion to Aviva Premiership Rugby.

But try as the may this season, a win has eluded them in all competitions, though there have been positives to take from their most recent European and LV= Cup travails.

And self-belief was clearly not lacking, even when Tristan Roberts dragged an early penalty wide of the posts, as the No10 made amends with a successful three-pointer on nine minutes.

Tom Prydie soon levelled with a straight-forward chance, but the Exiles cranked up the pressure and wing Nick Scott burst past a challenge from Ashton Hewitt before bundling over in the corner. Roberts added the extras.

Midway through the first half, the Aviva Premiership Rugby side had to weather a storm of their own after Nic Reynolds was shown a yellow card for his tackle on Pat Leach.

Angus O’Brien had a kickable penalty, but instead launched the ball into the corner as Newport pushed to level.
But the hosts failed to reduce the arrears and fell further behind on the stroke of half-time thanks to the boot of Roberts.

The home side came roaring out of the traps in the second half, but missed a glorious opportunity to score with Lewis Evans’ pass evading Pat Leach as space opened up in the Welsh defence.

Roberts opted for an ambitious kick at the posts from half way to swing the momentum back the way of the visitors, but saw his effort fall short.

The Rodney Parade crowd were on their feet on 57 minutes when replacement Richie Rees exploited a gap in the Welsh defence to cross. Prydie converted and Roberts was shown a yellow card as Newport sniffed a way back.

And the PRO12 strugglers turned the tie on its head with 13 minutes remaining, as Prydie dived over in the corner, then added the extras.

Ian Gough was sent to the bin with three minutes remaining for a high tackle on Will Robinson, giving Welsh faint encouragement in the dying embers.

But Newport held on to inflict further misery on the Exiles.

Tickets for this year’s LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin’s Gardens are now on sale.Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

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