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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 19:23 GMT 20:23 UK
Connacht 16-9 Dragons
Connacht's Paul Warwick comes under pressure from the Dragons
Connacht's Paul Warwick comes under pressure from the Dragons

Connacht (16) 16
Tries: Ofisa
Cons: McHugh
Pens: McHugh 2
Drop Goals: McHugh

Dragons (0) 9
Pens: Sweeney 3

Ray Ofisa's first try for Connacht helped them to victory on Friday as the Dragons suffered their first away defeat in the Magners League.

Connacht took advantage of a first-half wind advantage with Mark McHugh kicking two penalties and a drop goal.

Daniel Riordan's run set up flanker Ofisa for the converted try just before the break to give Connacht a 16-0 lead.

The Welsh visitors fought back in the second half but three Ceri Sweeney penalties proved to be in vain.

This win ended a run of three home defeats and a draw for Michael Bradley's men.

The Westerners made an imposing start, building through the phases and taking a stranglehold on the game with number 10 McHugh nosing them in front with his right boot.

A 13th minute penalty by the former Ireland international crept over four minutes before half-back partner Chris Keane's delivery allowed him drop a neat goal.

The Dragons, who have now lost on their last nine visits to Ireland since October 2004, drew breath and, in rediscovering the form that earned them recent wins at Glasgow and the Borders, were held up over the hosts' line three times in the opening half.

Twice off the base of scrums the Dragons pack went for the jugular, but Connacht held out.

And the home side's stout defence paid off when McHugh swung over a 36th-minute penalty and three minutes later, Riordan's dazzling run, which saw him cut by three defenders, put Ofisa in for his first Connacht try.

Sweeney had brought the difference down to a converted try 23 minutes after the resumption as he landed three out of three kicks, the most impressive of which was lofted over from 45 metres out.

McHugh was stifled by the elements when he saw a penalty chance tail away to the left, yet Connacht's defence was simply too good, with Andrew Farley and John Muldoon particularly impressive as Bradley's side tuned up nicely for the Challenge Cup visit of Harlequins.


Connacht: Riordan, Mostyn, Warwick, Williams, Yapp, McHugh, Keane, Hogan, Fogarty, Sturgess, Gannon, Farley, J. Muldoon, Ofisa, Rigney.
Replacements: Robinson for Yapp (74), Tierney for Keane (70), Flavin for Fogarty (64), Wilkinson for Sturgess (80), O'Connor for Ofisa (69). Not Used: Swift, Matthews.

Newport-Gwent Dragons: Morgan, Fussell, N. Brew, Smith, A. Brew, Sweeney, Cooper, Black, Daly, Harrison, Gough, Sidoli, Charvis, Ringer, Fitisemanu.
Replacements: Emerick for Fussell (70), Crawford for Daly (59), Charteris for Gough (66), Owen for Ringer (38). Not Used: Corsi, Hercus, Walker.

Referee: Andy MacPherson (SRFU).

Attendance: 1,900.

CELTIC RUGBY

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SEE ALSO
Dragons 26-7 Northampton
07 Oct 06 |  NG Dragons


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