Dragons roar to victory over Munster with powerful finish at Rodney Parade
Dragon 22 Munster 6
Published 06/12/2015 | 17:08
Newport Gwent Dragons secured their third Guinness Pro12 triumph of the season as they beat high-flying Munster 22-6 at Rodney Parade.
A solitary try at the end from lock Rynard Landman took the Dragons clear. Fly-half Dorian Jones booted three penalties, a drop-goal and conversion, while his replacement Jason Tovey added a penalty.
Munster's points came from two Rory Scannell penalties but, while they were in the game for the vast majority of the time, the final ten minutes saw the Dragons pull away.
But, despite the defeat, Aviva Premiership giants Leicester should not read too much into the result before they meet Munster in the Champions Cup at Thomond Park on Saturday as head coach Anthony Foley rested a number of his key men for that crucial Limerick date.
Third-placed Munster's aim prior to the match was to get back to winning ways after an 18-12 home defeat to Connacht last week, while the Dragons were desperate to win after a poor performance at Edinburgh in their last outing.
And it was all to play for after the first period as the sides went in level at 6-6.
Jones put the Welshmen ahead after four minutes with a 38-metre penalty but Scannell levelled with a 25-metre goal after the Dragons were guilty of going over the top at a ruck.
Munster should have crossed the home line twice as the first half wore on.
British Lions tourist Simon Zebo had a run to the left corner but illegally wriggled the last metre over the line to touch down after he was tackled.
But full-back Gonzalez Amorosino had a far better chance as a great passing movement involving Scannell and wing Ronan O'Mahony sent the Argentine international hurtling to the line only for Amorosino to knock-on at the vital moment.
Jones and Scannell swapped penalties while the Dragons got themselves into scoring positions. A tremendous Zebo tackle prevented home full-back Carl Meyer from diving over, while referee Gary Conway ruled that Thomas Rhys Thomas' drive to the Munster posts was not a touchdown.
Jones' monster 40-metre drop-goal put the Dragons back in front just after the re-start but neither side showed much invention towards getting an elusive try, with handling errors abounding through a messy third quarter of the game.
Home scrum-half Sarel Pretorius made a dashing run into the Munster 22 but the movement saw the Dragons spill the ball at the next ruck and Munster clear their lines.
Jones had a shot to stretch the Dragons lead but his 35-metre penalty hit the post and bounced into grateful Munster hands, but he was successful with his fourth penalty attempt.
Jones twice tried to drop another three points but missed on both occasions, the second a straight-forward kick 25 metres from the posts.
But the Dragons finally broke the try deadlock and ensured they took the victory when Landman cut inside from ten metres to dive over the line.
Jones converted and Tovey landed a final penalty in the closing moments for good measure.