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Dragons 20-6 Munster

Dragons (17) 20
Tries: Riley, G Thomas Con: Tovey 2 Pens: Tovey Drop: Tovey
Munster (3) 6
Pens: Warwick 2

Tom Riley goes over for the Dragons' first try of the night
Tom Riley goes over for the Dragons' first try of the night

Struggling Newport Gwent Dragons stunned Magners League leaders Munster with a much-needed win at a snow-hit Rodney Parade.

Tom Riley claimed his first try of the season after great build-up work by Toby Faletau.

Gavin Thomas added the second driving over under a pile of bodies from two metres out.

Munster came out firing in the second half but their only points came from the boot of Paul Warwick.

The win takes the Dragons up to eighth in the table, leapfrogging Connacht, Glasgow Warriors and Benetton Treviso, while Munster's lead at the top was cut to four points after Ulster won in Italy.

Dragons coach Paul Turner's side were in control by half-time and could easily have been much further ahead than their 17-3 lead.

Munster hardly threatened during the period and shot themselves in the foot by having two players yellow-carded as well.

Dragons outside-half Jason Tovey missed a couple of long penalties early on and decided to play the territorial game on the slippery surface.

Those missed kicks saw the home side unrewarded for their efforts in the first 20 minutes but that soon changed when number eight Faletau drove his way upfield and presented the ball at a ruck.

The ball went across the backs for Tovey to give centre Riley a lovely pass on a direct run through the Munster midfield for a neat try.

Thomas joy at Dragons win

Munster hardly got out of their own half, and soon lost centre Sam Tuitupou for a high tackle on the home stand-off.

The Dragons took advantage as former Wales flanker Thomas was just held up by a brilliant last-gasp tackle from scrum-half Tomas O'Leary as he turned to touch down.

But the lively back-row man would not be denied and, after Faletau drove from a maul close to the Munster line, Thomas got the ball and drove over under a pile of bodies from two metres.

Worse was to come for Munster as they went down to 13 men when number eight James Coughlan was binned for being off.

And, with the home pack performing well while Tovey regained the 14-point advantage with a penalty near half-time after opposite number Warwick booted a 20-metre shot for Munster's first points of the game, all was well for the Welsh on a bitterly cold night in Newport.

But Munster are not a major Irish region for nothing and they came out firing for the second half.

They had the home team on the back foot for the third quarter but only added a Warwick penalty to their total, although they were helped when home skipper Tom Willis was yellow-carded - also for being off his feet at a ruck.

But the visitors could not take advantage of the extra man and restored their 14-point advantage when Tovey booted a 30-metre drop-goal on 68 minutes which meant Munster would need two converted tries to draw.

They had one or two chances, the best being when full-back Scott Deasy kicked over the home defence - but a superb cover tackle from opposite number Pat Leach denied the try.

And, while the Irishmen laid siege to the Dragons' line in the final moments, the Welshmen held firm and denied their opponents any chance of a losing bonus point.

Newport-Gwent Dragons: Leach, Hughes, Riley, Smith, A. Brew, Tovey, W. Evans, Price, Willis, Hall, Charteris, Sidoli, L. Evans, G. Thomas, Faletau.

Replacements: Burns for Willis (74), A. Jones for Sidoli (62).

Not Used: Castle, Gustafson, H. Ellis, Cheeseman, J. Evans, M. Jones.

Munster: Deasy, Howlett, B. Murphy, Tuitupou, D. Hurley, Warwick, O'Leary, D. Ryan, Sherry, J. Hayes, Holland, Nagle, O'Donnell, Ronan, Coughlan.

Replacements: Mafi for Tuitupou (72), Gleeson for D. Hurley (55), Murray for O'Leary (78), Borlase for D. Ryan (40), Henry for Sherry (72), du Preez for J. Hayes (40), B. Hayes for Nagle (79), O'Mahony for O'Donnell (54).

Att: 5,079

Ref: Alan Falzone (Italy).

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see also
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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