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Last Updated: Friday, 24 October, 2003, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Warriors labour past Dragons
CELTIC LEAGUE
Gareth Wyatt takes on Jason Forster
Warriors (9) 19
Try: A Havili. Con: N Jenkins. Pens: Jenkins (4).
Dragons (9) 12
Pens: C Warlow (3). DG: Warlow.
Att: 1,530
An Aisea Havili try and the boot of Neil Jenkins helped the Warriors record their first win in four matches, a run stretching back to 13 September.

It was a lacklustre, error-strewn game at Sardis Road, Pontypridd, with the Dragons displaying their usual form away from home.

Fly-half Craig Warlow proved accurate with the boot and supplied all the Dragons' points, but the Gwent regional side have yet to win a game held outside the bounds of Rodney Parade.

The low-quality encounter saw three yellow cards for negative play, Dragons duo Ian Gough and Andy Marinos plus Warriors full-back Emyr Lewis earning the wrath of referee Marshall Kilgore.

All we offered was some desperation rugby in the last five minutes
Dragons assistant coach Dennis John
The Warriors forwards opened aggressively against the vaunted Dragons pack, giving the home side the edge in territory and possession.

They failed to profit from that advantage, though, the opening half hour yielding three Jenkins penalties but seeing Warlow reply with two penalties and a fine drop goal.

Kilgore had warned both sides for negative play before Dragons lock Gough killed it on the floor on the half hour.

It was not a night for running rugby
Gerald Arasa takes on the Warriors defence
A trip to the sin bin resulted, but all the Warriors could manage during his absence was a failed Jenkins shot at goal.

No sooner had Gough returned than Dragons captain Marinos was binned for killing the ball, but Jenkins missed the resulting penalty to leave it level after an appalling first half.

The 14-man Dragons took the lead early in the second period with another Warlow penalty, but the Warriors fired back and determined to make the most of their numerical advantage by booting a kickable penalty to the corner.

The forwards won the ball and recycled, freeing powerful Tongan winger Havili who plunged over from five yards.

I was just pleased that we came away with a win
Warriors coach Lynn Howells
Warriors full-back Lewis was the next man to see yellow after handling on the floor to end a promising Dragons attack.

Still the game failed to open up. Havili went close to his second try with an excellent run, only to be denied by a superb Jamie Ringer covering tackle.

But the next points had to wait until the 73rd minute when a Jenkins penalty took the Warriors seven points clear.

The Dragons mounted a late, sustained assault on the home side's line, but inspiration was lacking and the Warriors held on for a much-needed win.

"I was just pleased that we came away with a win, given the number of players we had on World Cup duty," said Warriors coach Lynn Howells.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Dennis John, who has been helping out with coaching at the Dragons with Clive Griffiths away with Wales, was not a happy man.

"We had no momentum and just didn't turn up tonight," said John.

"All we offered was some desperation rugby in the last five minutes."


Warriors: E Lewis; R Mustoe, S James, J Bryant (capt), G Wyatt; N Jenkins, A Chiltern; P Booth, M Rees, C Horsman, D Jones, N Budgett, R Parks, C Harris, R Jones.
Replacements: C Balshen, G Morris, D McIntosh, M Lewis, P John, M Nuthall, L Thomas.

Dragons: Sione Tuipulotu; Gerald Arasa, Hal Luscombe, Andy Marinos (capt), Ben Breeze; Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Chris Anthony, Ian Gough, Peter Sidoli, Jamie Ringer, Jason Forster, Rhys Oakley.
Replacements: Rhys Thomas, Paul Young, Shawn Van Rensburg, Luke Charteris, Nathan Brew, Lee Jarvis, Bryan Shelbourne.

Referee: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland).




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