Newport Gwent Dragons faced difficult English side Exeter Chiefs in their last pre-season clash before the season starts.
After a battle for the lead throughout the first half of the match, the formidable Chiefs side forced their way into the lead to take a win of 32-16 at Rodney Parade.
The Men of Gwent began the match well with newcomer Pat Howard crossing the whitewash from a turnover ball – Nick Macleod converted which put them in front after around 90 seconds.
With the opposition giving away a penalty fullback Carl Meyer fancied a long range shot at goal, but he missed the difficult kick from with his own half. Meyer was given another chance just inside the Chiefs half and this time he made no mistake, extending the Dragons lead to 10-0.
It wasn’t long until Exeter Chiefs earned their own penalty and kicked to the corner, with this they found a space in the Dragons defence and Olly Woodburn made it over, but the conversion was missed.
Once again the Dragons attacked the Chiefs defence and Macloed slotted over a successful penalty, making it 13-5 after 20 minutes.
The opposition came back once again, this time the try was claimed by England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, with Slade missing the conversion. But later on slotting a penalty kick over before half time.
Half Time: Newport Gwent Dragons 13 – Exeter Chiefs 13
After half time, Exeter Chiefs turned the game up a notch and before the Dragons knew it England centre Ollie Devoto went over and Slade converted to push the opposition into the lead, 20-13.
Another penalty came the Dragons way for Macleod to slot it over to make it 20-16, but that didn’t stop the Chiefs.
With 60 minutes on the clock Olly Woodburn crossed for his second try of the evening and Gareth Steenson converted pushing Exeter further into the lead 27-17. Woodburn completed his hat-trick with a try close to the end of the match leaving the final scores on 32-16.
Referee: Nigel Owens