NEWPORT Gwent Dragons will head into their European showdown with Cardiff Blues with a spring in their step after a first ever league win in Treviso.

The Rodney Parade region rode their luck at times but emerged from the clash at the Stadio Monigo with a bonus point thanks to gutsy defence and tries by scrum-half Jonathan Evans and wings Hallam Amos and Tom Prydie (2).

They had to withstand plenty of pressure from Treviso – with their scrum creaking without influential loosehead Boris Stankovich – but took the spoils to climb above the Blues into ninth in the Guinness Pro12.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones had hammered home the importance of building momentum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final at Rodney Parade by winning in Italy.

And his charges showed plenty of resolve, and some excellent finishing, to win at a venue where the Blues and Ospreys have come a cropper this season.

The Dragons, who suffered a pre-match blow when Stankovich pulled out, spent much of the first half on the back foot but a combination of sterling defensive work and opportunism meant they somehow led 17-0 at the break.

They nearly opened the scoring early on when Andrew Coombs charged down home full-back Jayden Hayward’s clearance for James Benjamin to hack on but, after lengthy deliberation, the TMO ruled the flanker had knocked on attempting to ground the ball.

Treviso then put the squeeze on, dominating the tight exchanges and with powerful number eight Mat Luamanu and classy centre Michele Campagnaro prominent.

The Dragons’ defended desperately and got their reward on the quarter when scrum-half Jonathan Evans sniped through from a ruck 20 metres out and finished powerfully.

Wing Tom Prydie, who had suffered a kicking nightmare in the loss to Zebre in Parma earlier in the month, converted but was then wide of the mark with a penalty for a high tackle.

The Dragons then had to show more resolve in their 22 with the Italians putting the pressure on with their driving lineout only to fail to show a killer instinct.

And the visitors made them pay with Prydie punishing a breakdown offence before a stunning last play of the half.

Treviso were pressing for a try to get back in touch but knocked on near the line, giving Hallam Amos a free play from behind his posts.

The Wales wing went on the run and combined with centre Jack Dixon before racing over for an incredible try that Prydie expertly converted for 17-0.

A first league win in Treviso looked inevitable when the wing banged over a penalty in the opening minutes of the second half but the hosts came storming back.

First Italy centre Enrico Bacchin raced over down the left with Hayward adding a super conversion and they were straight back on the attack.

Evans was lucky that a charged down clearance rebounded straight to Amos in the dead ball area and there was another narrow escape when pick and drives on the Dragons line were ended by a knock-on.

The respite was short-lived.

A scrum against the head was followed by Welsh referee Ian Davies marching under the sticks for a penalty try to make it 20-14 with 25 minutes to play.

Treviso inched closer through the right boot of Hayward with 66 minutes on the clock and it was one-way traffic.

But the hosts’ impressive rally was ended thanks to a breakaway Prydie score that came through a mixture of super attacking play and unlucky defending.

Replacement full-back Carl Meyer expertly fielded a chip over the top deep inside his own half and went on the counter, offloading to Prydie who shipped the ball on to Amos who then hacked on.

Treviso fly-half Sam Christie and flanker Francesco Minto were speeding towards the ball on the line with Prydie and the home players collided, leaving the Dragons man to dot down and settle the nerves.

It stayed at 25-17 when his conversion was charged down and the visitors safely negotiated the next eight minutes to ensure that victory was theirs.

However, they had one last opportunity to turn four points into five and they grasped it. A scrum on halfway was worked wide for Meyer, who capped an impressive cameo by chipping over the top for Prydie to dot down on the right before expertly converting.

Treviso: J Hayward, S Ragusi, M Campagnaro (A Pratichetti 44), E Bacchin, L Nitoglia, S Christie, A Lucchese (E Gori 40), M Zanusso, D Giazzon (A Anae 48), R Harden, A Pavanello (captain, M Fuser 45), C Van Zyl (M Swanepoel 76), M Barbini (D Budd 34), F Minto, M Luamanu.

Treviso scorers: tries – E Bacchin, penalty; conversions – J Hayward; penalty – J Hayward

Dragons: J Tovey (C Meyer 70), T Prydie, P Leach (T Morgan 51), J Dixon, H Amos, D Jones, J Evans (L Jones 74), P Price (D Way 63), R Thomas (captain, R Buckley 67), B Harris, A Coombs, C Hill (T Faletau 65), J Thomas, J Benjamin (O Griffiths 64), N Crosswell.

Dragons scorers: tries – J Evans, H Amos, T Prydie (2); conversions – T Prydie (3); penalties – T Prydie (2)

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)