Newport Gwent Dragons failed to seal a win this afternoon, after taking on tricky English outfit Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm stadium in the final pool stages of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
The Welsh Region returned to the stadium where they had taken the spoils last season in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, and had hoped to replicate that win again.
With the sun beaming down on the stadium and both teams bursting out of the starting blocks, it looked to be a lively game. The Dragons' hosts pushed them back into their 22 and with the defence holding strong it kept away any early try scoring opportunities. Gloucester had another chance to try and get on the scoreboard through an intercepted pass, as their captain Callum Braley collected and raced towards the finish line, thankfully fly-half Dorian Jones got to him before he could dot down. Jones then went onto to show a bit of his own magic after a lovely run inside the 22 which saw him attempt a drop goal, only for it to go wide.
Soon after this the referee awarded the Dragons a penalty, one which Tom Prydie slotted over the posts with ease to see the Welsh Region lead 3-0 after 26 minutes.
The pressure came in waves from Gloucester, only for the Dragons to keep them at bay as the stadium clock ticked towards half time. But with the penalty not going the Dragons way, Gloucester opted to kick to the corner and all of their hard work finally paid off as Cameron Orr pushed his way over the try line, with fly-half Lloyd Evans converting.
Half Time: Gloucester Rugby 7 – Newport Gwent Dragons 3
The Men of Gwent were still in this game and needed to remain focussed during the second half, but with things not going as they planned their hosts took full advantage which saw Henry Trinder sail over for a try, which was converted by Evans to see a score of 14-3.
Evans went on to add another three points to the scoreboard, as the Dragons were penalised again; extending the Cherry and White’s lead to 17-3.
Finally, as things started to go the Dragons way they charged into the Gloucester 22, seeing a catch and drive work for Matthew Screech as he crossed for the Dragons’ first try of the afternoon, 17-8.
This momentum didn’t last long and before they knew it, they were back defending and through a sustained period of pressure came a try from the hosts. But Charlie Beckett was held up over the line, so that was chalked off. However, the home side sealed the win after a quick tap and go over the line from Ben Vellacott. Evans converting again to see a score of 24-8.
The Dragons weren’t happy to end the game there however, with a lovely break down the wing from fullback Carl Meyer and some neat offloading, it saw Matthew Screech go over for his second of the afternoon.
Full Time: Gloucester Rugby 24 – Newport Gwent Dragons 13
Referee: Rhys Thomas