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Dragons down Zebre to climb off bottom of URC table

By PA
George Nott of Dragons. Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Dragons moved off the bottom of the BKT United Rugby Championship table with a comfortable 20-13 win over fellow strugglers Zebre Parma at Rodney Parade.

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The Welsh region began slowly but two breakaway tries in quick succession gave them increased confidence to dominate the game.

Aneurin Owen, Jared Rosser and Elliot Dee scored tries for Dragons with Cai Evans adding a penalty and a conversion.

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Muhamed Hasa scored a try for Zebre with Tiff Eden kicking two penalties and a conversion.

A drop-out straight into touch from former Bristol fly-half Eden gave Dragons their first attacking platform but it came to nothing as the hosts bungled a pre-planned three-quarter move.

An earlier half-break from Eden was the only feature of note in an error-ridden and scoreless first 15 minutes with Zebre having the best chance for points but they opted not to take a kickable penalty from only 20 metres out.

However, after 17 minutes the game burst into life when Owen intercepted to run 70 metres for the opening score.

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Defence

166
Tackles Made
89
11
Tackles Missed
22
94%
Tackle Completion %
80%

Six minutes later, Dragons scored a second, which again brought the crowd to its’ feet. From a position close to the Italian 22, the home side counter-rucked strongly for Rosser to seize the ball and sprint away from two coverers for a superb individual try.

Evans missed his second conversion before Eden put Zebre on the scoreboard with two penalties in quick succession.

With the last move of the half, Dragons extended the lead when Rhodri Williams darted deep into the opposition 22 where Gonzalo Garcia was yellow-carded for off-side with Evans kicking the resulting penalty for a 13-6 interval lead.

Three minutes after the restart, Dragons scored a crucial third try when Dee finished off a line-out drive with Evans knocking over the touchline conversion.

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Garcia returned from the sin-bin but the game was a non-event for the next half-hour until Hasa forced his way over close-range for a late consolation try.

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