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Ulster 25-23 NG Dragons

Ulster (10) 25
Tries: Spence, Seymour, Cave Cons: Pienaar 2 Pen: Pienaar Drop goal: Pienaar
Newport-Gwent Dragons (5) 23
Tries: Tovey, L Evans, Brew Con: Tovey Pen: M Jones Drop goal: Tovey


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Highlights of Ulster's Magners League win over the Dragons at Ravenhill

Ulster moved into the Magners League top four and a play-off spot thanks to Ruan Pienaar's last-gasp drop goal.

Nevin Spence's early try and five points from Pienaar gave Ulster a 10-5 lead at the break, with Jason Tovey going over for the Welsh side.

Tries from Lewis Evans and Aled Brew put the Dragons in control before Ulster edged ahead again with Tommy Seymour and Darren Cave touchdowns.

Tovey's drop goal restored the Dragons' lead but Pienaar had the final say.

Ulster started with a youthful back line which included debutant Conor Gaston on the wing.

The hosts went ahead after eight minutes when Spence collected a pass from Luke McAllister and burst through for a try, which set up an easy conversion for Pienaar.

Dragons fly-half Tovey missed a penalty but he made amends 60 seconds later with a touchdown.

Ulster full-back Adam D'Arcy failed to hold a chip and Brew kicked on for Tovey to go over for the five points, although he was off-target with the conversion.

Ulster hooker Andy Kyriacou is tackled in the Ravehill game
Ulster hooker Andy Kyriacou is tackled in the Ravehill game

Pienaar was the more accurate kicker and he pushed Ulster into a five-point lead thanks to a 26th minute penalty.

Play was largely confined to the middle third although the Welsh side withstood a spell of Ulster pressure just before half-time.

The Dragons seized control on the restart and Tovey missed another penalty before the visitors scored their second try on 53 minutes.

Flanker Evans spotted a gap close to the line and stretched over for the try, with Tovey finally finding his range with the extras.

A third Dragons try arrived six minutes later, this time Brew breaking the Ulster line and charging over but Adam Hughes failed with the conversion.

Ulster fought back and Seymour sprinted down the line for a 64th minute try after good work from fellow replacement Pedrie Wannenburg.

Pienaar missed out with the conversion but Matthew Jones, the third Dragons kicker in the game, fired his penalty off a post and over to make it 20-15.

But again Ulster came back again on 77 minutes with Gaston putting Cave through for a try and Pienaar converted.

The Dragons thought they had won it when Tovey made up for a poor kicking display by slotting over a drop goal with a minute left.

However, there was more drama to come and Pienaar was the Ulster hero as he sent over a drop goal with the last kick off the game.


Ulster matchwinner Ruan Pienaar:

"I just looked up and thankfully it went through the posts - it's a great result for us," said the scrum-half.

"The lads showed a lot of character to win the ball back at the end.

"We will celebrate this win but it was not a good performance from us and we know there are a lot of tough matches ahead of us."


Ulster: A D'Arcy, C Gaston, N Spence, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar; P McAllister, A Kyriacou, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (cpt), T Barker, C Henry, W Faloon, R Diack.

Replacements: N Brady, B Young, J Cronin, D Tuohy, P Wannenburg, P Marshall, D Cave, T Seymour.

Dragons: Martyn Thomas; Will Harries; Adam Hughes, Pat Leach; Aled Brew; Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Phil Price, Lloyd Burns, Dan Way, Luke Charteris, Adam Jones, Andrew Coombs, Lewis Evans, Joe Bearman.

Replacements: Steve Jones, Pat Palmer, Hugh Gustafson, Adam Brown, Toby Faletau, Tom Riley, James Leadbeater, Matthew Jones

Referee: Mr James Jones (WRU)



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see also
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Edwards wants Dragons coach role
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Dragons suffer triple injury blow
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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