sport

Dragons finish with a flourish

A strong second-half performance from Newport Gwent Dragons helped the Welsh region secure a 23-14 success over Benetton Treviso.

The Italian visitors enjoyed the better of the first half with both Doppies La Grange and Filippo Giusti crossing the try line to move 14-6 in front.

Two tries in the space of 13 second-half minutes from Steffan Jones and Tom Prydie turned the game on its head with another penalty from Prydie making sure of the points.

The hosts were rocked into action early on when Treviso took the lead with a well-worked touchdown that came after pressure in the Dragons' 22.

Ludovico Nitoglia came within a centimetre of scoring and once the ball was recycled it found its way to the left for La Grange to cut back inside and ground the try.

When the chances came the Dragons way, Jones managed just one successful penalty out of three attempts during the period, leaving Prydie to take over and land another penalty before the break.

And it was not a happy match for Jones at that stage as he clashed with Alberto Di Bernardo in an incident that threatened to come to blows.

After Giusti came on for calf injury victim Robert Barbieri, the back rower was on hand to grab Treviso's second touchdown. Once Di Bernardo added the conversion, Treviso looked well on the way to victory.

Jones redeemed himself when he burst through from 25 metres for a run-in under the posts, making Prydie's conversion simple. That reduced the arrears to a single point and the Dragons were boosted again when wing Christian Loamanu was sin-binned on the hour for foul play on lock Ian Nimmo.

Prydie then attempted to claim a try when he had a tiny amount of room to squeeze through and put the ball over the Italians' line. It would have been referred to a video referee had there been one watching. Instead all it got was a scrum.

Then the Italians suffered a horrible blow when Di Bernardo fell to the ground and was stretchered off by medics after a five-minute delay. When the game resumed, the Dragons fired again as Prydie went over for their second try to put the Welshmen into the lead for the first time.

For all their endeavour, Treviso went home without even a losing bonus point when Prydie sent a touchline penalty booming between the posts to leave the Italians nine points short.