Dragons v Northampton

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  • Newport Gwent Dragons need to win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.
  • However, even if the Dragons beat the Saints with a bonus point they rely on Saracens failing to beat Newcastle tomorrow.
  • The Dragons have played Northampton four times and won just once.
  • Last season a Tonderai Chavhanga hat-trick was not enough to prevent the Saints from winning 30-20 at Rodney Parade.

4:34pm

4:22pm

All over here. 34-16 to Northampton. Not great stuff by the Dragons, plenty of work ahead for Lyn Jones. Report to be up shortly...

4:16pm

Apologies, internet problems! Saints have wrapped it up thanks to a score by number eight Van Velze that makes it 34-16.

4:05pm

But Saints defend it well.

4:04pm

Dragons have attacked with a lot more shape since bringing on Richie Rees. Held up over the line, 5m scrum...

3:51pm

Dickson's conversion is wide and it's 27-16 with 25 to go.

3:51pm

Saints have their bonus point. Tighthead Gareth Denman sent clear down the right after the visitors win a scrum against the head. Looks like game over, I'm afraid.

3:48pm

But the Dragons stand firm. It's 22-16 with 28 mins left.

3:48pm

In the mean time, Saints have crossed for a pushover try through hooker Mike Haywood and are now going for a second...

3:47pm

Apologies, was uploading a story on Warburton penning a central contract.

3:37pm

Dragons have changed their shirts at half-time and are now sporting their blue and black number. Dickson gets us under way again.

3:22pm

Tovey adds the extras and it's 16-15 to the Dragons after a somewhat farcical half of rugby.

3:21pm

TRY DRAGONS! Ref Small goes to the TMO after the Dragons drive over the line. I'd love to tell you who scored but I can't see the big screen!

3:18pm

Back under way and the Dragons are pressing in the 22...

3:11pm

Rain stopped play! Or should that be hail. The players are taken off by referee Andrew Small.

3:08pm

Yellow card for Northampton flanker Teimana Harrison after one (team) offence too many at the breakdown.

3:03pm

Dickson is wide with the conversion and it's 15-9 Northampton after half an hour.

3:03pm

Sigh. A farcical score for wing Fa'atoina Autagavaia. Fotuali'i makes a break but flings a poor offload only for Wardle to slide over the ball and gift the Samoan wing a run-in.

3:01pm

Luc Jones is struggling out there but his pack aren't exactly helping him. The Dragons will have to burgle a win here, as they did when bossed up front by Bath in pre-season.

3:00pm

No mistake this time from Tovey - 10-9 to the visitors after 26 mins.

2:57pm

Tovey has a chance to chip away at the lead...  just under the bar.

2:55pm

Penalty try, rather predictably. Can't really have any complaints. 10-6 Northampton after 22 mins.

2:54pm

But then the ball pops out of the 5m scrum and Talei's pass puts Smith under pressure. He is driven over the line. 5m scrum to Saints.... eek!

2:53pm

It's been a tough introduction to regional rugby so far for Luc Jones. The Wales Under-20s scrum-half is under pressure in horrid weather and is lucky to be first to his charged down kick on his own line.

2:47pm

It's a cracker. 6-3 Dragons after 14.

2:46pm

Tovey, with a strong wind at his back, to have a go for goal from inside his own half after Saints are pinged for offside....

2:45pm

Tovey levels the scores after a high tackle on former Saints wing Will Harries. 3-3 after 12.

Saints predictably have the nudge up front, which is a big advantage given the horrid conditions.

2:44pm

Early change for the Dragons with Ross Wardle replacing wing Matthew Pewtner, who is groggy and has a bloody nose after making a hard break.

2:39pm

Dragons get marched back a good five metres at a scrum. Saints point to the posts from the resulting penalty and Glenn Dickson bisects the posts. Dragons 0 Northampton 3 after 8 mins.

2:35pm

Dragons go for a quick tap after winning a penalty from a five-metre scrum. Bad decision - Northampton defend it and win a pen of their own to clear.

2:30pm

Tovey kicks off with the Dragons defending the North Terrace.

2:29pm

Phil Dowson leads out the Saints in a lovely lime green number, swiftly followed by Lewis Evans and the Dragons.

2:28pm

Youngsters from Blackwood form the guard of honour donned in club colours and 'protect our game' t-shirts.

2:27pm

Five minutes to kick-off and it is absolutely pelting down.

There's a fair smattering of Northampton fans in, including plenty with North on their backs.

1:48pm

The LV= is a development competition but Dragons go for a strong side with Jason Tovey returning to pull the strings at fly-half.

Fijian number eight Netani Talei and blindside flanker Lewis Evans add some experience alongside Wales Under-20s openside James Benjamin in the back row.

Saints have also gone with a pretty solid side, despite being without 20 players because of international duty and injuries. They are captained by ex-England flanker Phil Dowson.

1:45pm

The teams are in and they are as planned...

Dragons: D Evans, M Pewtner, P Leach, A Smith, W Harries, J Tovey, L Jones, P Price, E Dee, N Buck, C Hill, A Jones, L Evans (captain), J Benjamin, N Talei. Replacements: R Thomas, O Evans, J Mills, M Screech, J Groves, R Rees, K Burton, R Wardle.

Northampton: J Wilson, K Pisi, T Stephenson, D Waldouck, F Autagavaia, G Dickson, K Fotuali’i, E Waller, M Haywood, G Denman, R Verbakel, C Day, T Harrison, P Dowson (captain), GJ Van Velze. Replacements: R McMillan, D Hobbs-Awoyemi, A Parkins, B Nutley, M Williams, A Day, S Olver, G Pisi.

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)

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