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Ulster overcome Dragons at wet and windy Rodney Parade

By PA
Stuart McCloskey /Getty Images

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Ulster moved back up to second in the United Rugby Championship table with a 12-0 victory over the Dragons at a wet and windswept Rodney Parade.

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The Welsh region never looked like ending their miserable run against Ulster, with the Dragons having not beaten the province in 11 attempts since March 2015.

Marcus Rea and John Andrew scored Ulster’s tries, while Nathan Doak added a conversion.

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The Dragons, playing with the strong wind, had the better of the early exchanges, with Dan Baker and Harri Keddie making a couple of powerful surges to keep the Ulster defence on their mettle.

Ulster broke out and an error from Dragons full-back Josh Lewis gifted the visitors a five-metre scrum, but after a couple of forward rumbles they knocked on for the pressure to be relieved.

That was as near as either side got to a score in the opening quarter as both struggled to come to terms with the appalling conditions, with both the rain and wind intensifying.

The Dragons then came close to breaking the deadlock when scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou was just off target with a long-range drop-goal attempt.

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Ulster took every opportunity to disrupt the flow of the game by running the clock down with frequent injury stoppages and taking their time to engage at line-outs.

The Dragons suffered an injury setback when lock Joe Davies had to be replaced by Huw Taylor and they looked to have sustained another blow when Doak crashed over.

However, TMO replays showed that the young scrum-half had been held up by the combined efforts of Rio Dyer and Sam Davies.

A minute before the interval, Ulster took the lead with an excellent try. A clean break from James Hume split the defence to send Doak racing for the line. He was hauled down by Jonah Holmes but the visitors recycled to provide Rea with a walk over.

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Six minutes after the restart, Ulster had a second try when Andrew finished off a driving line-out, with Doak sending over a magnificent touchline conversion.

Sam Davies missed a 20-metre penalty from in front of the posts when his kick was blown astray as the final quarter finished scoreless, while Dragons prop Mesake Doge picked up a late yellow card for a dangerous challenge.

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