Munster kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive but missed out on a bonus point against the Dragons at Thomond Park.
HEINEKEN CUP POOL ONE
Munster (10) 30
Tries: O'Driscoll, Foley, Flannery
Con: O'Gara (3)
Pen: O'Gara (3)
Dragons (8) 18
Tries: S Jones, K Morgan
Pen: Sweeney (2)
A superb jinking run by David Wallace set up Mick O'Driscoll's first-half try but Steve Jones' touchdown helped cut Munster's lead to 10-8 at the break.
Anthony Foley's try after the break extended Munster's advantage but the Dragons fought back to lead helped by Kevin Morgan's breakaway try.
Two Ronan O'Gara penalties and Jerry Flannery's late try made the game safe.
O'Driscoll's 18th-minute try came after one of the few pieces of quality play in a largely scrappy first half.
Marcus Horan started the move with a drive straight at the Dragons defence but it was Wallace's brilliant jinking run which created the opening for O'Driscoll to dive in at the corner.
O'Gara's second successful kick, after his earlier penalty, extended Munster's lead to 10-0.
However, the Dragons gained in confidence and were able to notch a try of their own 10 minutes later when hooker Jones dived over the Munster line after a forward drive had put the home defence under severe pressure.
Ceri Sweeney was unable to add the conversion but he made no mistake from a penalty in first half injury-time after Donncha O'Callaghan had transgressed in a ruck.
Munster nerves were eased five minutes after half-time when number eight Foley showed some terrific football skills to dink the ball behind the Dragons defence before winning the race to notch the touchdown. O'Gara added the extras to increase Munster's lead to nine points.
But as had been the case in the first half, Munster then lost their way and Sweeney's penalty in the 64th was quickly followed by a breakaway try finished off by replacement Kevin Morgan. Sweeney's conversion put the visitors a point ahead.
However, Munster regrouped and two quick O'Gara penalties put the home side five points up with eight minutes left and hooker Jerry Flannery's injury-time try ended any prospect of a Dragons win.
Munster flanker David Wallace:
"Unfortunately we didn't get the bonus point which we really needed but we gave it our all.
"The try was a little bit flukey. I knew Mick (O'Driscoll) was outside me but the pass was a little bit of a hail Mary."
Dragons coach Paul Turner:
"It could have gone either way at one stage. We played some good football and frustrated Munster but they are a good side.
"Our set piece held up well. We're always going to play a bit of football and we probably scored one of the tries of the season."
Munster: S Payne; J Kelly, G Connolly, T Halstead, A Horgan; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; D Leamy, D Wallace, A Foley, capt.
Replacements: B Murphy for Halstead 72 mins. Not used: F Pucciariello, D Fogarty, T Hogan, S Keogh, T O'Leary, J Manning.
Sin Bin: Horan 75
Dragons: A Thomas; G Chapman, H Luscombe, J Bryant, R Fussell; C Sweeney, G Baber; A Black, S Jones, G Robinson, I Gough, L Charteris, R Oakley, J Ringer, R Bryan (capt).
Replacements: K Morgan for A Thomas 41, G Cooper for Baber 60, D Maddocks for Black 64, R Thomas for Robinson 54, P Sidoli for Gough 64, M Owen for Bryan 41. Not used: Craig Warlow.
Sin Bin: S Jones 75
Referee: Chris White (England)