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.
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...
Apologies, internet problems! Saints have wrapped it up thanks to a score by number eight Van Velze that makes it 34-16.
But Saints defend it well.
Dragons have attacked with a lot more shape since bringing on Richie Rees. Held up over the line, 5m scrum...
Dickson's conversion is wide and it's 27-16 with 25 to go.
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.
But the Dragons stand firm. It's 22-16 with 28 mins left.
In the mean time, Saints have crossed for a pushover try through hooker Mike Haywood and are now going for a second...
Apologies, was uploading a story on Warburton penning a central contract.
Dragons have changed their shirts at half-time and are now sporting their blue and black number. Dickson gets us under way again.
Tovey adds the extras and it's 16-15 to the Dragons after a somewhat farcical half of rugby.
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!
Back under way and the Dragons are pressing in the 22...
Rain stopped play! Or should that be hail. The players are taken off by referee Andrew Small.
Yellow card for Northampton flanker Teimana Harrison after one (team) offence too many at the breakdown.
Dickson is wide with the conversion and it's 15-9 Northampton after half an hour.
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.
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.
No mistake this time from Tovey - 10-9 to the visitors after 26 mins.
Tovey has a chance to chip away at the lead... just under the bar.
Penalty try, rather predictably. Can't really have any complaints. 10-6 Northampton after 22 mins.
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!
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.
It's a cracker. 6-3 Dragons after 14.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tovey kicks off with the Dragons defending the North Terrace.
Phil Dowson leads out the Saints in a lovely lime green number, swiftly followed by Lewis Evans and the Dragons.
Youngsters from Blackwood form the guard of honour donned in club colours and 'protect our game' t-shirts.
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.
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.
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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