Newport Gwent Dragon faced a tricky start to the 2016/17 season as their Guinness PRO12 opener was against a tough Irish side, Ulster.
The Men of Gwent began their quest for success well, as fly-half Nick Macleod added a penalty kick to the score board. This was closely followed by a lovely chip from Macleod, which allowed debutant Pat Howard to cross for his first try in Dragons colours.
However this great lead didn’t last too well as a turnover ball saw, Man of the Match Ruan PIenaar kick into space allowing wing Rob Lyttle cross for Ulster form try of the night. South African scrum half Pienaar converted the try to see Ulster within one point of the Dragons 8. And the hosts gained the lead soon after with Jacob Stockdale collecting his own kick and crossing.
Half Time: Ulster Rugby 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons 8
Changes just before the half and during half time meant that skipper Lewis Evans replaced Ollie Griffiths, Welsh international Tyler Morgan coming on for Sam Beard, Nick Crosswell replacing Rynard Landman and Lloyd Fairbrother covering for Craig Mitchell.
Unfortunately for the Dragons Pienaar was on a mission, and with that he charged down fullback Carl Meyer’s kick to extend Ulster’s lead to 17-8 after 45 minutes on the clock. Ulster were still hungry and on the 65 minute marker the hosts went on the charge and Lyttle made it over for his second try of the evening. Before the final whistle came Ulster’s captain Rob Herring crossed thanks to a driving lineout ending the match on a score of 29-8.