THE Dragons were given a 50-15 hammering by Leinster in the Guinness PRO14. Here are the talking points from the clash at the Royal Dublin Society.


Ollie Griffiths showed his class in the win against Glasgow, carrying hard and coming up with big moments in defence.

The back row forward needs to string together a run of games to earn the chance to add to his solitary Wales cap, but was a late withdrawal in Dublin.

Griffiths had his lower right leg strapped and was carrying a Game Ready – a compression device for injuries – when he left the Ystrad Mynach training base on Tuesday.

He was named in the XV but pulled out and the Dragons missed him badly. Griffiths wouldn’t have turned defeat into victory against Leinster but he would have made a big difference.


The Dragons were competitive in the first half and enjoyed a stroke of luck for Jordan Williams’ try to make it 12-8.

Then they were hit by a score that was well-worked by Leinster, but was partly down to referee Andrea Piardi.

The Italian official, in charge of his fourth PRO14 game, got in the way of hooker Richard Hibbard on the line and helped to provide home fly-half Harry Byrne with a run-in.

Maybe the former Wales and Lions front rower wouldn’t have been able to prevent the try, but he was denied the opportunity to try.

The Dragons were livid and responded well by attacking with intent at the end of the first half but without reducing the deficit.

South Wales Argus:


The World Cup stars weren’t on the field but plenty of future Ireland internationals were.

Leinster’s academy churns out top-quality talent and their ‘second string’ would have a good shot at winning the title.

The champions are now five wins from five and even without the likes of Sexton, McGrath, Healy, Furlong and Ringrose they played with accuracy, pace and attacking intent.

They also mixed up their game with a driving lineout for the bonus point.

Leinster will win Conference A and there will have to be a major upset to deny them a place at the PRO14 final at Cardiff City Stadium.

South Wales Argus:


Top talent wasn’t just wearing Leinster blue, flanker Taine Basham produced another lively display in the Dragons back row.

The teenager from Talywain is raw and needs to keep working on the dirty work to go with his eye-catching moments but he has made a strong start to the season.

Basham kept going until the bitter end, carrying with intent and playing his part in the consolation by Owen Jenkins with a strong carry and terrific offload.


Leinster’s appetite to defend their line in the closing stages was the stuff of champions but Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan would have been pleased at the way his side performed at the death.

The hosts hit the half-century with quarter of an hour to go and could have piled on the pain but instead it was the Rodney Parade region that thankfully set up camp in Leinster territory.

Frustrating errors meant they failed to add to their eight points when the clock hit the red but then they had the final say through wing Owen Jenkins.

A nice move and calm assists by scrum-half Luke Baldwin and centre Adam Warren put the Wales Sevens international over.

It wasn’t much of a consolation but at least the Dragons battled until the very end.