Dragons sneak past Treviso
Newport Gwent Dragons finally got a victory in the RaboDirect Pro12 after a run of six defeats and a draw as they battled to beat a stubborn Benetton Treviso 20-19 at Rodney Parade.
Young centre Tyler Morgan had a tremendous game for the Welshmen as he scored one try and helped set up winger Will Harries for another. Stand-off Jason Tovey booted a penalty at either end of the match and converted both the touchdowns.
Treviso, who finish the season bottom but one, grabbed tries from scrum-half Fabio Semanzato and number eight Mano Vosawai with the rest of their points coming from the boot of outside-half Alberto Di Bernardo with three penalties.
Despite the win, though, the Dragons still end the season as the lowest placed of the Welsh regions having, at one stage, been in the top half of the table.
The Dragons managed to get the first score on the board when Tovey put over a 30-metre penalty but the Italians had the better possession and territory for twenty minutes of the period.
Treviso were powerful up front and had the Dragons on the back foot on a number of occasions close to their own line.
From one of those, Semenzato fooled the Welshmen as he picked up at a ruck and went blind to dive over from five metres past the helpless home defence although Di Bernardo was unable to add the conversion.
The Dragons did themselves no favours when Harries was sent to the sin-bin midway through the half for interference at a ruck only metres from his side's line and it was by hook and by crook that the Dragons managed to keep a powerful scrum five from crashing over the line.
But the Dragons' own mistakes caused their first-half problems as Di Bernardo took advantage with his boot. He extended the Treviso lead to 8-3 with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts on 24 minutes and the Dragons horrible run of recent weeks looked to be trouble of extending further.
However, young centre Morgan turned on a superb piece of magic on the half-hour to get the Dragons back into the game. He took a ball in midfield forty metres from the Treviso line and was gone like a missile to the visiting line, scoring near the posts and giving Tovey an easy conversion.
Two more mistakes from the Welshman, though, saw the Treviso stand-off land a kick as they went into the break head.
The Dragons emerged the more positive of the sides after the interval and another piece of magic from Morgan saw them get a second try of the game as he booted the ball down the right for Harries to chase and dive over for a try that Tovey converted.
Yet Treviso would not give up and, after they gained territory onto the home line, lock Marco Fuser took a good line-out ball and fed Vosawai who sneaked over on the blindside.
There was just one point in it and, when home flanker Lewis Evans was sin-binned, Di Bernardo gave Treviso the lead again with a mid-range penalty before they blew their chances of victory by giving away a penalty 30 metres out that Tovey landed to the joy of the home fans.