THE Dragons ended their Irish hoodoo by securing their first win in Galway since 2004 with a magnificent 35-22 win over Connacht.

Dean Ryan's men had suffered frustration after narrow defeats to the Osprey and Leinster at Rodney Parade but got their United Rugby Championship campaign up and running with a sensational success.

The Dragons had been quite vocal about ending their poor record against Irish opposition which stretched back almost five years and 22 games.

And they were well worth their win at the Sportsground with magnificent performances from back-row duo Aaron Wainwright and Taine Basham giving Wales coach Wayne Pivac a timely nudge ahead of the autumn squad announcement.

The Dragons were outmuscled in the first half but produced their best performance of the Ryan era after the break as they cut Andy Friend’s men to shreds at times in what feels like a watershed moment for this side.

South Wales Argus: WINNERS: The Dragons triumphed in GalwayWINNERS: The Dragons triumphed in Galway

Rhodri Williams, making his first start of the season, thought he had given the visitors the perfect start when he intercepted Kieran Marmion’s pass to race clear.

However, the 28-year-old was called back by the referee for being offside, which allowed Carty to open the scoring from the kicking tee.

Carty missed a sitter from right in front of the posts before doubling Connacht’s lead with a penalty soon after.

Sam Davies put the Dragons on the board after Connacht were penalised for a high tackle on Harrison Keddie, and there were signs that the visitors were slowly working their way into the game.

The Dragons burst into life with a deft flick kick over the top of the Connacht defence by Jordan Williams being regathered by the diminutive full-back.

The former Scarlets and Bristol man raced clear before releasing Jonah Holmes, who showed tremendous pace to touch down at the far right-hand corner.

Davies missed the conversion and Connacht hit straight back with a period of sustained pressure in the Dragons half which led to Will Rowlands being sent to the sin bin for not rolling away.

Connacht’s pack held the upper hand dominating territory for the majority of the first-half, and Caolin Blade was held up over the line by the Dragons. Carty kicked two further penalties meaning Connacht led 12-8 at the interval.

Whatever Dean Ryan told his side in the changing rooms at half-time worked as the Dragons came out firing.

They retook the lead on 44 minutes when deceptive full-back Williams showed his class as he danced his way past three defenders to score, with Davies adding the extras.

The Dragons now had the bit between their teeth as their pack laid siege to the Connacht try line, and they made it a two-score game when prop Mesake Doge powered over from short-range.

Connacht came straight back at the Dragons, and after some brave defence Connacht wing Mack Hansen touched down at the corner.

But Davies extended the Dragons’ lead to eight points with a penalty from 45 metres out and they were soon celebrating their bonus point try when Holmes pounced on a kick through from Davies to score.

The fly-half converted beautifully from the touchline but Connacht refused to throw in the towel with Conor Fitzgerald scoring their second.

However, the Dragons didn't feel the pressure and Davies knocked over a late penalty to secure a famous win for the Welsh side.

Connacht: T O’Halloran; B O’Donnell, T Farrell (C Fitzgerald 61), T Daly (S Arnold 58), M Hansen; J Carty, C Blade; M Burke (J Duggan 44), D Heffernan (S Delahunt 54), F Bealham (J Aungier 66), O Dowling (L Fifita 18), U Dillane, C Prendergast (C Oliver 44), J Butler, P Boyle.

Replacements not used: H Gilvarry,

Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes, J Dixon (A Warren 66), A Owen, J Olowofela; S Davies, R Williams (G Bertranou 60); G Bateman (A Seiuli 51), E Dee (T Davies 71), M Doge (C Coleman 71), W Rowlands, J Maksymiw (J Davies 69), H Keddie (B Fry 38), T Basham, A Wainwright.

Replacements not used: J Lewis,

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

Star man: Taine Basham (Dragons)