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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 21:03 GMT
Dragons 17-10 Edinburgh
Dragons prop Adam Black on the charge
Dragons prop Adam Black takes on the Edinburgh defence

Dragons 17 (0)
Tries: Fitisemanu, N Brew
Cons: Warlow, Thomas
Pens: Thomas

Edinburgh 10 (10)
Tries: McCall
Cons: Hodge
Pens: Hodge

Newport Gwent Dragons recovered from a terrible first-half display to beat Edinburgh and secure only their third Magners League win of the season.

Edinburgh, without 12 men on Scotland duty, led 10-0 at the break after David McCall's try and Duncan Hodge's kicks.

Replacement number eight Nic Fitisemanu barged his way over to get the Dragons back into the game, before Nathan Brew added a second try on 70 minutes.

Aled Thomas converted the second try and then added a late penalty.

The match began in promising fashion at a wet and windy Rodney Parade when winger McCall finished off a fine move to score the opening try after 11 minutes.

Winger Mike Pyke made the decisive break as Edinburgh attacked from the halfway line.

Centre Ben Cairns took the move on and his pass in the tackle just short of the line laid the try on a plate for McCall in the left corner.

McCall injured his shoulder as he dived over, and he was eventually forced to leave the field just before the half-hour mark.

His withdrawal gave Lucio Lopez Fleming his Edinburgh debut, just a day after the Argentine international had joined on a three-month trial.

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Fly-half Hodge had converted McCall's try from an acute angle, but opposite number Mike Hercus failed to match that accuracy when he missed a much easier penalty attempt on 28 minutes.

An error-strewn and lifeless first-half ended with Hodge extending Edinburgh's lead to 10-0 with a 50-metre penalty.

Hercus lasted only a few minutes of the second-half before being replaced by Craig Warlow, but the replacement fly-half was equally wasteful as he missed a kickable penalty on 49 minutes.

The Dragons finally put some points on the board when replacement number eight Fitisemanu powered his way over from close-range after the Edinburgh defence had repelled a catch-and-drive from a lineout.

Warlow's conversion closed the gap to three points, and the Dragons, with the wind advantage, had their tales up with 30 minutes to go.

Fitisemanu's 20-stone bulk became the Dragons' most potent weapon as he was twice held up over the tryline in as many minutes.

But the pressure finally told as another forward drive gave the Dragons a chance to bring the backs into play and centre Nathan Brew had enough strength to brush off would-be tacklers to cross.

Full-back Thomas marked his first start of the season by kicking a left touchline conversion to put the Dragons, themselves missing five players to international duty, 14-10 up.

The Dragons were camped in the Edinburgh 22 for the remaining minutes, but had to be content with Thomas' injury-time penalty which ensured the visitors took away a losing bonus point for their effort.


  • Dragons captain Colin Charvis:

  • "We didn't hit the ground running, and it took us a while to build into the game.

    "It's very difficult on a night like this with a slippery ball to try to claw back a game, but we showed a lot of eagerness rather than desperation.

    "Out composure in the final 20 minutes won us the game."


    Dragons: A. Thomas; Wyatt, N. Brew, Smith, A. Brew; Hercus, Walker, Black, Crawford, Harrison, Hall, Charteris, Charvis (capt), Ringer, Bearman.
    Replacements: Daly for Crawford (39), Baber for Walker (42), Warlow for Hercus (44), Fitisemanu for Bearman (50).
    Not Used: Corsi, Griffiths, Fussell.

    Edinburgh: Monro; Pyke, Easson, Cairns, McCall; Hodge (capt), Laidlaw; Hewett, Kelly, Dickinson, Mustchin, Turnbull, Strokosch, MacDonald, Taylor.
    Replacements: Lopez Fleming for McCall (29), Cross for Taylor (59), Rennie for MacDonald (80).
    Not Used: Lawrie, Traynor, Bentley, Warnock.

    Att: 5,000.

    Referee: Colin Stanley (Ireland).



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    SEE ALSO
    BBC Sport Wales coverage
    01 May 06 |  Wales


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