NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 2016/17

One of the greatest mistakes in the history of Newport rugby was the partnership with Ebbw Vale to form the Gwent Dragons regional rugby side. The new team launched on July 28 2003 was an unmitigated disaster with Marcus Russell at the helm. Only a small number signed up for season tickets and Newport supporters collected 10,000 signatures for the City to be included in the name. Despite his initial error Newport backer Tony Brown stepped in on August 21 2003, renaming the side 'Newport Gwent Dragons'. The team is now run as a joint arrangement between Newport and the WRU under the management of Rodney Parade Limited. Newport fans were further alienated when a Director, Martyn Hazell, asked them not to shout 'Newport' at home games. From difficult beginnings the team has now established a core support of 4-5,000 but has failed to make any inroads in the Celtic League or European Cup. It was coached by Paul Turner, his record was little short of disastrous. Since 2005 the region had not finished above 7th in the Celtic League and has been the bottom placed Welsh side in all but one of his seasons at Rodney Parade. It was coached by Lyn Jones who cannot bring himself to say Newport and constantly referred to the team as Gwent. He has been succeeded by Kingsley Jones. The team no longer plays in black and amber, often turning out in blue, the colours of Cardiff. For more information go to http://www.newportgwentdragons.com/

 

News regularly updated      Black and AmberSportHomeRUGBY RANT2010/11 2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/16

 

WRU END NEWPORT'S ASSOCIATION WITH FIRST CLASS RUGBY

 

Jun 25 - Newport will no longer be associated with first class rugby after the Welsh Rugby Union stated they would be removing it along with Gwent from the professional side based in the City.

 

COMMENT - the Pro12 is an unsustainable shambles with the Dragons expected to disappear in 2020 anyway. The WRU are misconceived. The major rugby audience comes from Newport, it looks like loyal season ticket holders will have to traipse around the area in addition to matches at RP to watch an under performing side which no longer represents them.

 

JACKMAN TAKES HELM AT NGDs

 

Jun 12 - Former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman has been appointed as the new head coach of the Newport Gwent Dragons. Jackman will start his role next week when he takes over from Kingsley Jones, who has been appointed to lead the Welsh Rugby Union's exiles programme.
"It is a huge honour to join at such an exciting time," said Jackman.
The WRU will take over control of the Dragons on 1 July after Newport RFC shareholders voted through plans for them to do so earlier in June.
A review of the coaching set up at the Dragons was undertaken by WRU and Dragons chief executives Martyn Phillips and Stuart Davies - and involved Lions and Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
 

CARDIFF BEAT NGDs

 

May 7 - Cardiff Blues took seventh place in the Pro12 as they ground out victory in an uninspiring encounter with struggling Newport Gwent Dragons.
The win and results in France mean Cardiff Blues go to Stade Francais for a European Champions Cup semi-final play-off on 19 or 20 May. At Caerphilly the hosts' Carl Meyer scored off Angus O'Brien's cross-kick.
But Blues hit back with tries by Matthew Morgan and Willis Halaholo before Dragons' Sam Beard went over. Gareth Anscombe kicked the rest of Blues' points with O'Brien and Meyer adding Dragons' extras.
The hosts' off-loading and wide passes caught Blues cold in the opening minutes. Crowd at Caerphilly's Virginia Park 5167.

 

LATE COMEBACK BEATS NGDs

May 1 - A dramatic late comeback saw Edinburgh snatch victory from the jaws of a potential 10th straight defeat to deny Newport Gwent Dragons at Myreside. The Dragons have lost eleven in a row. The visitors built a 20-3 lead with 10 minutes left after tries from Pat Howard and Carl Meyer and two penalties from Angus O'Brien.

Edinburgh's Blair Kinghorn had a try disallowed for an Allan Dell offence but crossed with seven minutes left. Damian Hoyland added a second before Grant Gilchrist plunged over late on.

 

 

SCARLETS OVERCOME NGD RESISTANCE

 

Apr 15 - The Scarlets climbed up to third place in the Pro12 with a gritty victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at the Judgement Day fixture in Cardiff. Dragons shackled the Scarlets and led 6-3 after a first half of attrition.
Jonathan Davies broke the Dragons' resistance with the opening try after an hour, before Liam Williams went over in the opposite corner. Adam Hughes scored a late consolation for the Dragons, who remain 10th in the Pro12 table, while Scarlets overtake Ospreys in third place.
 

DRAGS LOSE TO ZEBRE

 

Apr 8 - Italian strugglers Zebre powered to a bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons to rise off the bottom of the Pro12. Zebre overtook Treviso in the Italian rivalry for a place in the top-tier European Champions Cup.
Federico Ruzza and Derick Minnie's tries helped Zebre to a 15-7 lead at the break with Cory Hill responding. Edoardo Padovani and Johan Meyer added two more for Zebre and Adam Hughes' reply was not enough for Dragons.
After fly-half Carlo Canna kicked the first of his nine points with the game's first penalty, visiting Wales lock Hill crossed and Angus O'Brien added the extras.
 

ULSTER WIN IN NEWPORT AGAIN

Mar 26 - John Andrew's late try secured 14-man Ulster a crucial win against Newport Gwent Dragons. Ulster twice opened a seven-point lead through tries by wing Craig Gilroy and full-back Jarrod Payne.

Dragons hit back with scores by Rynard Landman and Ollie Griffiths. Paddy Jackson's kick edged Ulster ahead before Rodney Ah You was shown a red card and Andrew claimed the key try.

 

NEWS SPECIAL - RODNEY PARADE SELL OUT here

 

HENSON SIGNS FOR NGDs

 

Mar 18 - Wales' double Grand Slam winner Gavin Henson is to join Newport Gwent Dragons from Bristol in the summer on a two-year contract. Henson, 35, won the last of his 33 Wales caps against England in 2011 and also played one Test for the British and Irish Lions in 2005. "This is a hugely important signing and exactly what we need," said Dragons head coach, Kingsley Jones.
 

NEWPORT SET TO CEDE CONTROL OF FIRST CLASS RUGBY IN CITY

 

Mar 5 - A deal that would see the Welsh Rugby Union become the majority stakeholders in Newport Gwent Dragons is expected to be completed this month.
Dragons announced last April they were seeking further investment but a sale of the region has not materialised. The WRU owns a 50% stake in the Dragons, with Newport RFC owning 50%.
Talks are still ongoing between the WRU and the region. Newport had previously targeted 'independence' from the WRU - who were willing to sell their current 50% stake in the region - but further involvement from the Welsh Union is thought to be attractive to potential investors. According to the Western Mail Newport Gwent Dragons chairman Martyn Hazell also promised to write off any debts owed to him as a condition of any sale leaving the organisation effectively debt free.
 

DRAGONS OVER-RUN

 

Mar 4 - Glasgow ran in seven tries to secure a 47-17 bonus point win over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Scotstoun. Rynard Landman's try helped the Welsh side into an early 10-0 lead, but two superbly-taken tries from Nick Grigg gave Warriors the initiative.
Rory Hughes, Ratu Tagive, Lee Jones, Mark Bennett and Peter Horne all touched down before Tyler Morgan scored a late try for the visitors.
 

THRASHING FOR DRAGONS

Feb 25 - Leinster moved top of the Pro12 table with an eight-try thrashing of Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade. Two Jack Conan tries in the first half gave Leinster a healthy lead at half time, and Jamison Gibson-Park extended their advantage after the break.

Adam Hughes crossed for the hosts to claw back Leinster's 14-3 half-time lead before the Irish province rallied. Richardt Strauss, James Tracy, Hayden Triggs and Luke McGrath all touched down for the visitors late on.

 

Feb 18 - The Newport Gwent Dragons lost narrowly 14-9 in Connacht

 

MUNSTER EASE PAST NGDs

Feb 11 - Pro12 leaders Munster made it 14 wins in 15 games with a bonus-point victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons in Cork. JacobTaute crossed the line either side of Andrew Conway's score and the hosts were awarded a penalty, with Rhys Buckley hitting back for the Dragons. Munster led 31-10 at the break before Elliott Dee's converted try gave the visitors hope of a comeback. But this was Munster's night as Dave Kilcoyne and Ronan O'Mahony touched down to seal a six-try win.

 

DRAGONS OUT OF ANGLO WELSH

 

Feb 4 - An abandoned game but a result that stands against Newcastle (6-15) and a defeat at Gloucester (13-24) has put Newport Gwent Dragons out of the Anglo Welsh Cup.

 

NGDs DUMPED OUT OF CHALLENGE CUP

 

Jan 21 - Newport Gwent Dragons went out of the European Challenge Cup with a 36-19 defeat against pool leaders Brive in cold conditions in France. The Newport based side  went 15 points down inside quarter of an hour as Soso Bekoshvili and Taku Ngwenya. Tries for Tavis Knoyle and Sarel Pretorius restricted the half-time deficit to 22-14. The latter grabbed a breakaway second, but Brive's powerful forwards drove over twice in the second half to seal a comfortable win.
 

CARDIFF SET TO STEP IN TO SOLVE FIXTURE DILEMMA

 

Jan 21 - Cardiff are set to step in to solve a Rodney Parade fixture dilemma. Two fixtures are set for May 6 as Newport Gwent Dragons kick off against Cardiff at 5.30pm and Newport County face Notts County at 3pm. With governing bodies claiming fixture primacy Cardiff have offered to stage the rugby fixture at the Arms Park with all ticket revenue going to the Rodney Parade professional team.

 

NGDs BEAT RUSSIANS

 

Jan 13 - Newport Gwent Dragons keep their European Challenge Cup knock-out stage hopes alive with a bonus-point win over Enisei-STM of Russia. The hosts left it late but secured a vital bonus point in their 34-10 victory over Enisei-STM. Harri Keddie touched down late - with his second - for the bonus point after T Rhys Thomas and Rhys Buckley crossed. Wings Denis Simplekevich and Igor Kurashov scored for enterprising Enisei at either end of the second half. Dorian Jones kicked eight home points while replacement Angus O'Brien converted Buckley's and back-row replacement Keddie's scores.

ARGUS CORRESPONDENT BACKS NEWPORT SUPER CLUB

Jan 12 - South Wales Argus rugby correspondent Chris Kirwan has backed a Newport super club as a more effective way of branding professional rugby in the area. Professional rugby in the Newport and Gwent region has struggled since 2003 and new finance is being sought. Kirwan states "The notion that club rugby fans already on the terraces watching Pontypool, Ebbw Vale, Newbridge, Cross Keys, Brynmawr, Nantyglo are going to come in their droves to watch professional rugby is a daft one. It would surprise some and dismay others to learn that so many supporters (and plenty of officials) I encounter have no appetite to be part of anything else. They might watch the odd professional game on the box but club rugby is the passion to which they devote their limited time and money. Take that to its natural conclusion and many don't care a jot if it really was a Newport superclub, in fact some would welcome that if it gave more clarity to the level of rugby they watch . Fingers crossed there will soon be fresh investment at Rodney Parade and some new blood on the board. If that happens I'd make one big plea stop trying to be everything for everyone. There is little point spending great time and effort trying to convince Tommy from New Inn that he could be spending 20 on a ticket for Rodney Parade on a Friday night when he is quite happy spending his 7 at Pontypool Park on a Saturday afternoon. It sure as hell isn't happening the other way around with clubs well aware that the pound only goes so far in these austere times."
 

NGDs SEE OFF POOR ITALIAN SIDE

Jan 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons gained a comfortable 26-8 victory over Treviso to move eight points ahead of the dreadful Italian side and up into ninth place in the Pro12 table. Fly-half Angus O'Brien kicked 14 points while there were tries for Sarel Pretorius and captain Lewis Evans. Tito Tebaldi scored with an early opportunist try for Treviso.

 

OSPREYS WIN MUDBATH

Jan 1 - The Ospreys from Swansea won the Pro12 derby played on a dreadful Rodney Parade pitch. The game was given the go-ahead after several pitch inspections, and Justin Tipuric's fine try put Ospreys 7-0 up at half-time. The mud-caked conditions hindered both sides but it was the visitors who adapted best and made fewest mistakes. Dan Biggar's late penalty sealed the victory for the visitors.

 

CARDIFF WIN FESTIVE FIXTURE

 

Dec 26 - Cardiff Blues beat Newport Gwent Dragons 27-16 at the Arms Park, with all the points coming in the first half. Cardiff dominated possession and territory with tries from Dacey, Shingler and Navidi. Ashton Hewitt scored the Dragons only try, with their other points added by Angus O'Brien in a low quality spectacle.

 

NGDs RETURN FAVOUR TO WORCESTER

 

Dec 16 - The return European fixture saw Newport Gwent Dragons comfortably beat Worcester 22-7.

The Warriors had flanker Sam Betty sent off for a punch after just 15 minutes. Man of the match Tavis Knoyle, Tyler Morgan and Sam Hobbs crossed for the Welsh region with Angus O'Brien adding seven points. Worcester's early opening try came from Connor Braid but they rarely threatened to repeat their dominance at Sixways.

 

WORCESTER SEE OFF DRAGS

 

Dec 10 - Worcester kept their slim European hopes alive with a great second-half comeback to beat Newport Gwent Dragons. Entering the final minute before the break, Warriors trailed 6-0 to a drop goal and a penalty from Angus O'Brien. But prop Val Rapva Ruskin's converted try got them going - and the home pack took total control after the interval. Winger Dean Hammond and centre Max Stelling both scored, either side of two penalty tries, before speedster Ashton Hewitt's two late tries for Dragons. Stand-off O'Brien converted both for an individual 10-point haul, while his opposite number, Canadian international Connor Braid, landed four of his five conversion attempts, on his Warriors debut.

 

DRAGONS OVER-POWERED BY LEINSTER

Dec 3 - Leinster's power proved too much for the Dragons at the RDS. Joey Carbery excelled for Leinster with his try early in the second half clinching the bonus point. That followed first-half tries from Peter Dooley, Ross Molony and Jack Conan as the home side dominated. Pat Howard and Sarel Pretorius grabbed second-half Dragons tries.

 

NGDs DISPOSE OF SCOTS

Nov 26 - Newport Gwent Dragons held on against Edinburgh to switch places in the Celtic League / Pro12. Carl Meyer, Sam Hobbs and Angus O'Brien crossed in a ten-minute first-half purple patch, with O'Brien's boot making it 24-12 at the break. Edinburgh's Nasi Manu and Chris Dean got first-half tries and Viliame Mata's late score made it close. But fly half O'Brien's 78th-minute penalty sealed the win to ensure the visitors are only above Zebre and Treviso in the table.

 

NGDs STUN WEST WALIANS

Nov 19 - Newport Gwent Dragons pulled clear in the second half to record a 36-21 bonus-point victory in the Anglo Welsh Cup after the sending-off of Scarlets flanker Jack Condy. He saw red in the 45th minute for a punch to the head of a Dragons player. Nick Crosswell, Carl Meyer and Harrison Keddie crossed in the last half-hour while Sam Beard bagged the first and last tries for the Dragons.

Dafydd Hughes and Corey Baldwin touched down for the Scarlets, who led 16-10 at half-time. Angus O'Brien added nine points with the boot for the home side while Dan Jones' 11 points saw the visitors lead for most of the first half.

 

DRAGONS PLAYED OFF PARK BY TIGERS

 

Nov 12 - Leicester Tigers proved too strong for Newport Gwent Dragons at Welford Road finishing 42-3 winners in the Anglo-Welsh Cup tie this afternoon.

 

NGDs FINE WIN OVER CHAMPIONS

 

Nov 5 - Newport Gwent Dragons won just their second game in the Pro12 this season as they overcame a late Connacht comeback at Rodney Parade. Ashton Hewitt went over to put the hosts in the lead while Angus O'Brien kicked the Dragons further ahead. Two Jack Carty penalties put champions Connacht back into the game at the break before Hewitt touched down once more.
O'Brien's two drop-goals extended their lead but Niyi Adeolokun's try set up a tense finale for the Dragons.
 

DRAGONS OUTPLAYED

 

Oct 30 - Wing Keelan Giles scored two tries as Ospreys claimed a bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons. The 18-year-old took his tally to eight scores in four matches after Tom Habberfield and Scott Baldwin crossed in the first half. Matthew Screech and Pat Howard claimed Dragons' consolation tries as they went down 35-17 at the Liberty Stadium.

 

RUSSIAN SHOCK FOR DRAGONS

 

Oct 23 - Enisei-STM added another European scalp after beating Worcester as they sealed a bonus point win against the Newport Gwent Dragons.
Iurii Kushnarev's penalty gave the Russians the lead and Dragons responded thanks to Pat Howard but Enisei went ahead through Dmitrii Gerasimov's try. A minute later, Sam Beard crossed for Dragons but Enisei soon took control.Two tries from Stanislav Selskii in either half in addition to Valery Morozov going over gave the hosts a bonus-point victory.
 

IMPROVEMENT CONTINUES AS NGDs SEE OFF BRIVE

 

Oct 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons generally reserve their best performances for the European Challenge Cup and so it proved tonight. The NGDs continued the improvement shown at Llanelli with a fine 37-16 win over Brive.

Four tries in the second period helped them secure a bonus-point victory -Hallam Amos, Cory Hill, Adam Warren and Lewis Evans all touched down after the Dragons had slipped behind the French side after an hour. Thomas Laranjeira scored all 16 points for the visitors.

 

CLOSE CALL FOR NGDs AT LLANELLI

 

Oct 8 - Llanelli Scarlets recovered from a 13-point deficit to claim a bonus-point win against Newport Gwent Dragons. A try by Hallam Amos and two by Adam Warren saw the visitors take a 20-7 lead after 35 minutes.

Liam Williams' score just before half-time changed the momentum and Scarlets upped the intensity after the break. Jonathan Evans scored a superb solo try and Steff Evans added a second to his first half score to secure the bonus point just after the hour. Sarel Pretorius' try made for a nervy finish and earned Dragons two bonus points, but Scarlets held on for their third consecutive win after losing their opening three games of the season.

GLASGOW OVERPOWER DRAGONS

 

Sept 30 - Glasgow ended a run of  successive defeats with a hard-earned away win against Newport Gwent Dragons. The visitors led 16-3 at half-time thanks to hooker Corey Flynn's try from a rolling maul and three penalties by Finn Russell. Dragons fought back strongly to lead through early second-half tries by Sam Hobbs and Jack Dixon. But prop Alex Allan's solo score restored Glasgow's advantage before a late Russell penalty sealed victory.
 

DRAGONS LOSE IN ITALY

Sept 23 - Treviso scored three tries to earn their first win of the season and condemn Newport Gwent Dragons to a third defeat from four Pro12 games. A Tommaso Allan penalty was followed by centre Tommaso Benvenuti going under the posts, fly-half Allan converting. Rynard Landman struck back for the Dragons and Angus O'Brien added a penalty. Filo Paulo and Marco Fuser crossed for the Italians after the break.

 

BETTER FROM DRAGONS BUT THEY STILL COME UP SHORT

 

Sept 17 - It was better from the NGDs but ultimately they failed to get past a poor Munster side coming up short by 20-16.

A questionable converted second-half touchdown by replacement Cian Bohane eventually put them Munster clear after Hallam Amos' interception try for Dragons had cancelled out Jean Kleyn's early score.

 

DRAGONS LIMP PAST ZEBRE

 

Sep 10 - A very poor performance from the Newport Gwent Dragons saw them limp past Italian also-rans Zebre 11-6 at Rodney Parade.

New wing Pat Howard scored the only try in the first quarter. Nick Macleod and Carlo Canna landed two penalties apiece in the first period. After the Dragons huffed and puffed but failed to convert attack into points.

 

DRAGONS CAPITULATE TO ULSTER

 

Sep 4 - Debutant Robert Lyttle scored two tries as Ulster got their Pro12 campaign off to a winning start with a 29-8 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons. A Nick Macleod penalty and a Pat Howard try gave the Dragons an early lead but it was one way traffic after that. 19 year old Lyttle and fellow winger Jacob Stockdale touched down to help the Ulster to a 12-8 lead at the break. Further tries came in the second half for Pienaar, Lyttle and Herring.

 

NGDs LOSE SEVENS CROWN

 

July 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons lost their Welsh Premiership sevens crown to Cardiff Blues after the Cardiffians scored with the last move of the match at the Arms Park to secure a 24-22 victory. The Dragons beat the Scarlets 26-12 before losing 21-19 to the Ospreys.

 

HARRIS JOINS NGDs

 

June 10 - Rotherham Titans' hooker Darran Harris has joined Newport Gwent Dragons. The Welshman has also played for Pontypridd and Llanelli.

 

CERI JONES BACK AT RODNEY PARADE

 

June 5 - Ceri Jones is to return to Newport to join Kingsley Jones's new coaching team. The former Black and Amber prop moved away from Newport with the advent of regional rugby to make 200 appearances for Harlequins. He will become forwards coach for Newport Gwent Dragons.

 

 

 

 

 

  FIXTURES 2016 - 2017

 

September
Sat, 04 Sep 2016 23-29 L Ulster A GP12
Fri, 10 Sep 2016 11-6 W Zebre Rugby GP12
Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16-20 L Munster H GP12
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11-27 L Treviso A GP12
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16-27 L Glasgow GP12
October
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 27-31 L Scarlets A GP12
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 37-16 W Brive H Chall
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18-38 L Ensei-STM A Chall
Sat 29 Oct 2016 17-35 L Ospreys A GP12
November
Fri, 04 Nov 2016 21-16 W Connacht GP12
Sat,12 Nov 2016 3-42 L Leicester LV
Fri, 19 Nov 2016 36-21 W Scarlets H LV
Sun, 27 Nov 2016 27-19 W Edinburgh H GP12
December
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15-28 L Leinster GP12
Sat, 10 Dec 2016 20-33 L Worcester Chal
Fri, 16 Dec 2016 22-7 W Worcester H Chal
Mon, 26 Dec 2016 16-27 L Cardiff Blues GP12
January
Sun, 01 Jan 2017 0-10 L Ospreys H GP12
Fri, 06 Jan 2017 26-8 W Treviso H GP12
Fri 13 Jan 2017 34-10 W Ensei-STM H Chall
Sat 21 Jan 2017 19-36 L Brive A Chall
29 Jan 2017 6-15 L Newcastle LV
February
 4 Feb 2017 13-24 L Gloucester A LV
11 Feb 2017 17-45 L Munster A GP12
18 Feb 2017 9-14 L Connacht A GP12
25 Feb 2017 22-54 L Leinster GP12
March
4 Mar 2017 17-47 L Glasgow A GP12
27 Mar 2017 17-27 L Ulster GP12
April
8 Apr 2017 14-29 L Zebre A GP12
15 Apr 2017 16-21 L Scarlets H GP12
29 Apr 2017 20-24 L Edinburgh A GP12
May
6 May 2017 24-26 L Cardiff* H GP12

  *Caerphilly RFC