Dragons (19) 36 Tries: Brew, Hughes 2 Cons: Tovey 2, M Jones Pens: Tovey 5 Aironi (5) 5 Try: Venditti
Highlights: NG Dragons 36-5 Aironi
Newport Gwent Dragons made hard work of their Magners League basement battle triumph over Aironi at Rodney Parade.
The hosts led 19-5 at the break as an Aled Brew try and Jason Tovey's boot did the damage while Giovanbattista Venditti replied with a try.
Adam Hughes scored the Dragons' second try after 67 minutes, Tovey converting.
Replacement Aironi prop Fabio Staibano was sent off for stamping offence and Dragons wing Hughes struck again late on.
Tovey returned following his recovery from a hamstring torn in the league's second round of games against Glasgow in September and promptly made his mark.
Having missed an early shot at goal, he succeeded in the eighth minute to post the game's first points.
The Dragons fly-half added two more as the Dragons built momentum in the opening quarter.
Aironi prop Luca Redolfini's sin-binning for failing to roll away at a ruck led to Tovey's third penalty and he was also involved in the opening try.
Brew took up the fly-half spot in the home 22 and his impressive cross-kick brought Tovey's pace to the fore.
The fly-half had moved to the left flank and after gathering on the touchline, raced away and could probably have scored himself, but instead gave the scoring pass to the supporting Brew.
Dragons wing Adam Hughes heads for the first of his second-half try brace
Home fans hoped that would signal the Dragons easing their way to a bonus-point win with more first-half touchdowns.
However, Tovey's conversion and another penalty was all they had to show for the rest of their opening period endeavours.
What's more, the Dragons also found themselves on the back foot for long enough for Aironi left wing Giovanbattista Venditti to squeeze over at the corner.
However, visiting fly-half Ludovic Mercier was unable to convert from the difficult angle and also failed with a penalty attempt to leave his side trailing 19-5 at the break.
Tovey extended the hosts' lead with a penalty five minutes after the break.
However, the visitors had the better of the third quarter, but were unable to turn the pressure into points as the Dragons defence held firm.
Venditti was dragged down a few metres short and Aironi were also guilty of poor handling as the line beckoned.
Amid the visitors' assault on the Dragons defence, hooker Steve Jones fell foul of the offside law to find himself in the sin-bin in the 52nd minute.
But he was joined there by replacement Aironi fly-half Riccardo Bocchino and after Jones had returned to the field, another visitor, replacement prop Fabio Staibano, also took up a spot in the sin-bin.
Even during the game boss Paul Turner spoke of the need for the Dragons to post a bonus-point win.
But his players were struggling to do his bidding despite the best efforts of Brew, Will Harries and Tovey.
The second-half reward finally came when wing Adam Hughes brushed aside Venditti's attempted tackle to race away, Tovey converting.
Santamaria's sending off came in the 75th minute. At the same time lock Carlo de Fava was sin-binned, leaving the visitors with 13 men at the final whistle.
And the Dragons blew a chance of claiming a third try when Harries over-complicated his attempt to set Brew free on the left.
But Hughes struck with the last move of the game, chasing hard after a long down-field kick to earn his reward and replacement Matthew Jones converted.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Harries'; Hughes, A Brew, Leach, Riley; Tovey, W Evans; Price, SS Jones, Palmer, Sidoli, Charteris, Lydiate, Faletau, G Thomas. Replacements: Hall for Price (50), Gustafson for Palmer (51), Morgan for Charteris (56), Burns for Faletau (53). Not Used: Sowden-Taylor, Gomer-Davies, M Jones, Leadbeater.
Aironi Rugby: Laharrague; Toniolatti, Penney, Pratichetti, Venditti; Mercier, Canavosio; Perugini, Ongaro, Redolfini, Del Fava, Bortolami, Favaro, Benatti, Williams. Replacements: Tebaldi for Canavosio (41), De Marchi for Perugini (52), Santamaria for Ongaro (65), Staibano for Redolfini (54), Geldenhuys for Bortolami (63). Not Used: Erasmus, Pizarro, Benettinuts.
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