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Dragons beat Ulster to complete Welsh clean sweep over Irish provinces

Ross Adair’s late try managed to salvage a losing bonus point for the visitors at Rodney Parade.

Jonathan Evans scored one of the home sides' three tries.
Jonathan Evans scored one of the home sides' three tries.
Image: Craig Thomas/INPHO

Dragons 26
Ulster 22

A MISERABLE WEEKEND for the Irish provinces was capped this afternoon as Ulsters’ good run of form came to an abrupt end with a 26-22 defeat to Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Neil Doak’s side, who had won their last four outings, spurned the chance to make ground on those above them but salvaged a losing bonus point in the dying embers as Ross Adair reduced the deficit to four points with a try on his debut.

It was the Dragons’ first win since they beat Leinster in Round 14 of the Guinness Pro12 and completed a remarkable clean sweep for the Welsh clubs over their Irish opponents this weekend.

Ulster move level on points with second-placed Munster in the standings but the gap between themselves and pacesetters Glasgow is four points.

Having lost to Zebre last time out, the hosts were purposeful from the off and despite hitting the front through a Tom Prydie penalty, it was Ulster who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.

Their dominance was converted into points halfway through the first 40 as Rory Scholes ran through the Dragons defence to create the opening for Craig Gilroy to touch down in the corner.
Another Prydie penalty restored Dragons’ lead and they pulled away after the interval through Rhys Buckley and Jonathan Evans after Callum Black was sin-binned.

Craig Gilroy evades the tackle of Tom Prydie Gilroy's brace was one of few highlights for Ulster in Wales Source: Craig Thomas/INPHO

Gilroy scored his, and Ulster’s, second try of the game to give them hope heading into the final stages but Dragons ensured there would be no comeback as full-back Carl Meyer crossed the line after Ashton Hewitt and Hallam Amos had done the legwork.

That wasn’t the end of the scoring, however, as Adair’s ingenuity from a quick line-out earned Ulster a point from an otherwise forgettable afternoon.

Newport Gwent Dragons: Geraint Rhys Jones; Tom Prydie, Jack Dixon, Ashley Smith, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, T. Rhys Thomas (c), Brok Harris, Andrew Coombs, Cory Hill, James Thomas, James Benjamin, Nick Crosswell.

Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Scott Matthews, Luc Jones, Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt.

Ulster: L Ludik; C Gilroy, D Cave (capt), M Stanley, M Allen, I Humphreys, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, D Tuohy, F Van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Ross, N Williams.

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, B Ross, L Stevenson, R Diack, P Marshall, S Arnold, R Scholes.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)

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