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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 19:56 GMT 20:56 UK
Dragons 15-0 Scarlets
MATCH DETAILS
Dragons fly-half Ceri Sweeney
Dragons (6) 15
Pens: Sweeney (5)
Scarlets (0) 0
Att: 5,182
Five Ceri Sweeney penalties proved enough for the Dragons to secure a comfortable Celtic League win over the Scarlets at Rodney Parade.

The fly-half kicked two in the first half and three after the break in a match devoid of attacking flair.

Dragons winger Nathan Brew wasted the best try-scoring chance when he dropped a pass with the tryline in sight.

Scott Quinnell and Gavin Thomas were sinned binned for the Scarlets, as was Dragons flanker Jamie Ringer.

Brew's poor handling epitomized a hugely disappointing match where both sides struggled to control a slippery ball and often knocked on in contact.

Prior to their late surge up field which led to Brew's chance, the Dragons displayed impressive defensive stubbornness to hold out a series of close range surges from the Scarlets forwards.

The promising position for the visitors ended when Scott Quinnell dropped the ball when tackled by Jonathan Bryant.

Ringer's yellow card for punching Gavin Thomas in a scrum just before half-time was the only other incident of note before the welcomed interval.

And a few minutes after Ringer had returned to the action in the second half, Thomas took his place in the sin bin after being penalised for an infringement in a ruck.

The Scarlets were soon down to 13 men when Quinnell was lucky to escape a red card after deliberately lifting his elbow to Jason Forster's face.

Dragons Ian Gough and Scarlets Vernon Cooper share some thoughts
It was a gutsy effort in the second half
Dragons coach Chris Anderson
Sweeney's third successful penalty from the resulting penalty punished the visitors further, as they trailed by nine points with 20 minutes left.

Luscombe should have made the game safe six minutes later when the Dragons finally combined in open play to break through the Scarlets defence.

The centre looked to have beaten the last man, but a desperate out-stretched hand managed to knock the ball from his grasp and the chance was lost.

A fourth Sweeney penalty soon followed, though, to put the result beyond doubt.

The Rodney Parade faithful had to wait until a minute before full-time to witness some incisive attacking play when Sweeney combined with winger Gareth Wyatt.

A try seemed inevitable, but Scarlets replacement forward Andrew Powell forced Wyatt into touch yards from the tryline.

Seconds later, Powell produced another try-saving tackle to prevent Sione Tuipulotu from diving under the posts.

Sweeney added a fifth penalty in injury time to wrap up the Dragons' their first win of the season.


Dragons: K Morgan; G Wyatt, H Luscombe, J Bryant, N Brew; C Sweeney, G Baber; R Snow, S Jones, R Thomas, I Gough, P Sidoli, J Ringer, J Forster (capt), R Bryan.

Replacements: S Tuipulotu, C Warlow, G Cooper, R Oakley, J Richards, L Charteris, A Black.

Scarlets: B Davies; G Evans, M Watkins, S Finau, T Selley; A Thomas, M Phillips; I Thomas, M Rees, J Thiel, V Cooper (capt), A Jones, D Jones, G Thomas, S Quinnell.

Replacements: J Davies, C Hawkins, C Wyatt, A Powell, Walters, A Thomas, A Havili.

Referee: Andy Ireland (Scotland)




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