NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 2010/11

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 is coached by Paul Turner, his record is little short of disastrous. Since 2005 the region has 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. For more information go to http://www.newportgwentdragons.com/

 

News regularly updated      Black and AmberSportHomeRUGBY RANT 

 

 

RUSSIA HEAD TO THE PORT

 

July 15 - Russia’s national rugby team will take on two Welsh regional sides in August in lead-up matches to the Rugby World Cup. Russia take on Newport Gwent Dragons on August 16 in Newport and Neath-Swansea Ospreys at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium on August 21. The games will be the first ever played by Russia against regional Welsh sides, though the Soviet Union team played in South Wales in the 1970's, and hosted Wales in the USSR.

 

NGDs TO FACE PERPIGNAN

 

Jun 19 - Newport Gwent Dragons will be returning to the south of France and lining up against former Ospreys outside half James Hook this season in the Amlin Challenge Cup having been drawn with former French champions Perpignan. The five Pool winners will progress into the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three Pool runners-up from the Heineken Cup. “Perpignan is a team that our players know and they have obvious ambition,” said Dragons Head Coach Darren Edwards. “Their signing of James Hook shows this and they are sure to be a big challenge for us. If Hook is at ten for Perpignan, it will be a great challenge for Jason Tovey to pitch himself against another Welsh outside half."

 

PLAYER EXODUS UNDER WAY

 

May 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that former Wales internationals Matthew Watkins and Nathan Brew are among 16 players released. Injury-plagued flanker Joe Bearman had already announced he would join the Ospreys when his Rodney Parade contract expires in the summer.

But new coach Darren Edwards starts his first close season with a clear out. Wales Sevens centre Rhodri Gomer Davies is to leave and hooker Duane Goodfield retires because of a shoulder injury. Centre Watkins has played just five games this season while wing Brew has featured just three times, as the Dragons finished seventh in the Magners League. Props Ali McKenzie and Pat Palmer, hookers Arthur Ellis and Craig Attwell, locks Rhydian Wilson and Adam Brown, number eight James Thomas, centre Tom Cooper, flanker James Davies, scrum-half Nicky Griffiths and Canadian full-back Matt Evans have also been released. "It is a part of rugby that the end of each season sees a certain amount of player movement," said Dragons director of rugby, Robert Beale. "These players have all put in a great deal of effort for the Dragons and we would like to thank them for the commitment they have shown to the region during their time here."

WIN FOR MEN OF ULSTER

 

May 8 - Ulster secured a place in the Magners League play-offs with a comfortable 20-13 victory against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade. A small end of season crowd of 4780 saw centre Nevin Spence go over twice in the first quarter to give Ulster a flying start, with Pedrie Wannenburg adding a third try before half-time. Ulster now play away at Leinster.

Tom Riley replied for the Dragons but the visitors held their nerve. At times the ground reverberated to the ridiculous lyrics of 'stand up for the men of Gwent' normally Ulster's keynote song. The losing bonus point left the NGDs seventh, ahead of the Scots, Italians and Connacht.

 

NGDs CONFIRM HENSON INTEREST

 

May 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons have admitted they would be open to signing Gavin Henson should the Wales centre be released by French giants Toulon. Henson will discover if he has a future with the French Top 14 club on Monday after breaching its disciplinary code.

 

CARDIFF BEATEN

 

Apr 30 - Newport Gwent Dragons dented Cardiff Blues' Magners League play-off hopes with a thrilling 28-15 Rodney Parade win. Steffan Jones' opening try and his late long-range penalty helped deny the Blues a losing bonus point, with Aled Brew and Andrew Coombs also crossing.Sam Warburton and Xavier Rush grabbed Blues tries either side of half-time.

 

OSPREYS HELD OFF

 

Apr 15 - Newport Gwent Dragons sent Magners League title-chasers the Ospreys packing in an exhilarating encounter before 5496 at Rodney Parade. The hosts scored four tries for a bonus point as they completed a season's double for the first time over the star-studded Swansea-based side.

Aled Brew, Ashley Smith and Wayne Evans crossed for the hosts as they built a 32-11 lead. Ryan Jones, Tommy Bowe and Nikki Walker hit back for the visitors. The rest of the points fell to Dragons kickers James Tovey and Matthew Jones, with Dan Biggar and James Hook responding for the Ospreys.

Apr 22 - The NGDs were beaten 27-15 at Edinburgh

 

NGDs BEAT TREVISO BUT THOMAS SUFFERS HEARTACHE

 

Apr 3 - Newport Gwent Dragons scored five tries as they ended a run of four games without a win in the Magners League. Adam Hughes, Aled Brew and Ashley Smith crossed in the first half, with Treviso's only score coming from Kris Burton's penalty. Burton reduced the home advantage to 19-10 as he converted his own try in the opening minutes after the break. But Jason Tovey created further tries for Brew and Will Harries with neat kicks to secure a bonus-point victory. The victory moves the Dragons above Connacht into seventh place in the table, 15 points outside the top-four play-off places.

But disappointingly full-back Martyn Thomas has broken his leg for the second time, ending his season. Thomas limped off  against Treviso on Sunday and a day later the extent of the injury was confirmed.

LEINSTER TOO STRONG FOR DRAGS

Mar 27 - Leinster boosted their bid for a Magners League play-off place with a hard-fought 26-16 win over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

The hosts led 13-10 at the break and threatened throughout, but Leinster proved equal to the challenge. Adam Hughes scored the opening try and Jason Tovey scored the rest of the Dragons' points with his boot. Isaac Boss went over for Leinster, who were also awarded a penalty try while Jonathan Sexton kicked 16 points.

ULSTER SNATCH RESULT AWAY FROM DRAGONS

 

Mar 19 - In a dramatic finale Jason Tovey's drop goal for Newport Gwent Dragons seemed to have secured an impressive away win at Ravenhill with two minutes to go. But Ulster retrieved possession from the kick off and stole victory with a drop goal of their own to win 25-23

Ulster moved into the Magners League top four and a play-off spot thanks to Ruan Pienaar's last-gasp drop goal. Nevin Spence's early try and five points from Pienaar gave Ulster a 10-5 lead at the break, with Jason Tovey going over for the Welsh side. Tries from Lewis Evans and Aled Brew put the Dragons in control before Ulster edged ahead again with Tommy Seymour and Darren Cave touchdowns. Tovey's drop goal restored the Dragons' lead but Pienaar had the final say.

GLOUCESTER HUMILIATE DRAGONS

 

Mar 12 - In a one sided encounter Gloucester sent Newport Gwent Dragons packing at Kingsholm in the LV Cup Semi Final.

Gloucester winger Charlie Sharples ran in four tries as the Cherry and Whites coasted into another LV= Cup final winning 45-17. Twice runners-up Gloucester will now play Newcastle in next weekend's final at Franklin's Gardens after comfortably coming through Sunday's semi. Gloucester were 17-0 up at the break after tries from Andy Hazell, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Nick Robinson, who landed five out of seven conversions. Sharples then closed the door with four tries in 20 second-half minutes. Jones, Brew and Groves scored for NGDs.

DRAGONS STRUGGLE AGAINST MUNSTER

 

Mar 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons failed to contain table topping Munster at Thormond Park, eventually losing 38-17. Doug Howlett scored two tries in the first half, with Paul Warwick kicking two penalties and a conversion to give the Irish side an 18-9 half-time lead. Jason Tovey kicked three penalties in the first half and another in the second while Steve Jones scored a try. Mick O'Driscoll, Johne Murphy and Alan Quinlan all touched down while Warwick added a penalty and a conversion.

 

GLASGOW SNATCH DRAW

 

Feb 25 - A last-minute try from Aly Muldowney earned Glasgow a draw with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Firhill. Mathew Jones kicked two first-half penalties to edge the visitors ahead. Duncan Weir levelled matters with two penalties but Andrew Coombs scored after Luke Charteris had charged down an ill-judged kick from Henry Pyrgos. But, in the last move of the game, Muldowney flew over a pile of bodies to end a period of fierce home pressure. Crowd 1709!

 

EDWARDS CONTINUES GOOD START

 

Feb 20 - NGDs coach Darren Edwards continued his fine start with a win in Italy. Tom Riley and Aled Brew crossed for second-half tries as the Dragons secured their first Magners League away win of the season. The visitors led 6-0 at the interval thanks to two Jason Tovey penalties. A Tito Tebaldi penalty reduced the deficit early in the second half before tries from Riley and Brew and a Tovey conversion secured the win.

 

EDINBURGH DOWNED IN EXCITING CLASH

 

Feb 13 - Newport Gwent Dragons posted a bonus-point 30-22 win over Edinburgh in a thrilling Magners League encounter at Rodney Parade. Edinburgh struck first with a Lee Jones try but Phil Price got a try back. Dragons Jason Tovey, Lewis Evans, and Ashley Smith all scored i a flurry of activity before the break and Andrew Coombs after it. Visser scored a second as Edinburgh battled back and Geoff Cross followed him to the line.

 

EXIT TURNER BY MUTUAL CONSENT

 

Feb 12 - Paul Turner has left Newport Gwent Dragons after a long and largely unsuccessful reign.

They stated "Newport Gwent Dragons wish to announce that Paul Turner’s employment with the region as Head Coach has ceased today by mutual agreement. The Region would like to express its thanks to Paul for the work he has done in past years and to wish him all the very best in the future.

Paul also commented “ I've enjoyed my 6 years at the Dragons and am immensely proud to have been involved with developing this Region. I wish all the players and staff my best wishes for the remainder of the season” Dragons Assistant Coach Darren Edwards will take over as Acting Head Coach until the end of the season."

 

TURNER'S SHOCKING RECORD IN THE MAIN COMPETITIONS

 

Newport Gwent Dragons in the Celtic (Magners) League

2003/4  Coach - Mike Ruddock  Position - 3rd 72 points
2004/5 Chris Anderson 4th 50 points
2005/6 Paul Turner 8th 45 points
2006/7 Paul Turner 9th 39 points
2007/8 Paul Turner 8th 34 points
2008/9 Paul Turner 9th 33 points
2009/10 Paul Turner 8th 39 points
2010/11 Paul Turner (at exit) 9th 22 points

 

Heineken Cup under Turner

 

Played 30 Won 4 Lost 26 Points For 484 Points Against 804

 

TICKETS OUT FOR LV CUP CLASH

 

Feb 9 - Tickets are now on sale for the Newport Gwent Dragons LV= Cup semi final against Gloucester at Kingsholm on Sunday 13 March (1pm). Prices are as shown. Supporters are advised to contact the Rodney Parade Ticket Office on 01633 670 690 or buy online. Adult tickets are priced between £12 and £23.

 

SCARLETS DOWNED IN CUP

 

Feb 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons easily disposed of Llanelli (sic) Scarlets 26-9 at Rodney Parade to progress to the semi finals of the LV Cup where they will face Gloucester (March 11-13). With the scores level at half time the Dragons cut loose with tries from Martyn Thomas (2) and Luke Charteris. Crowd - 4628.

 

DRAGONS PEP UP BOARD

 

Feb 3 - The board of Newport Gwent Dragons has been boosted by the return of former Director and owner of Bisley Office Furniture Tony Brown and the appointment of Celtic Manor Chief Executive Dylan Matthews.

Tony Brown who was instrumental in the creation of the Newport Gwent Dragons has remained involved through Bisley’s sponsorship of the region.Mr Brown is the major shareholder in Newport RFC, who own Rodney Parade and 50% of the regional side.

Dylan Matthews will act as a consultant for the region, with particular reference to the management of the corporate facilities housed in Rodney Parade’s state of the art new East stand, due to be completed in the summer. Having overseen the organisation of the Ryder Cup 2010, Mr Matthews’ will bring a great deal of expertise and enable the region to capitalise on this new facility.

Dragons Chairman Martyn Hazell said “We are delighted that Tony and Dylan have agreed to join us. These appointments are not about short-term cash injections or quick fixes, but about bringing credibility and expertise to our board, which will enable the Region to build a bright and secure future.”

 

DRAGONS WIN WITHOUT TURNER

 

Jan 29 - Life without Paul Turner began for Newport Gwent Dragons at Sale in the LV Cup. The Newport based region won 28-20. Adam Hughes weighed in with two tries. After leading only 6-3 at half-time, the Dragons hit their stride with second-half tries from late stand-in Hughes (2) and wing Aled Brew. But Sale hit back late on, running in three tries of their own through props Henry Thomas (2) and Aston Croall.

 

TURNER SUSPENDED

 

Jan 28 - Paul Turner, Newport Gwent Dragons coach, has been suspended. Dragons chairman Martyn Hazell told BBC Sport Wales the region are conducting "various investigations". The rest of Turner's backroom staff will take charge of Friday's LV= Cup match at Sale. "Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Paul Turner has been relieved of his duties pending a hearing into disciplinary matters," a Dragons statement added. "As previously announced, the region's LV= Cup games against Sale Sharks this weekend and next weekend's game against the Scarlets will be led by the assistant coaching team as part of the region's ongoing policy of coach development. There will be no further comment on this issue until disciplinary proceedings have been completed."

Turner was involved in criticism of the WRU following medical tests prior to the Six Nations. A statement on the Dragons website today reads "Newport Gwent Dragons would like to issue the following statement in reference to comments made by Paul Turner in relation to the National Squad Screening Day on 3rd January 2011. Dragons Head Coach Paul Turner would like to apologise unequivocally both for the way in which this matter came into the public domain and his choice of words used in his interview with the Argus. His comments were made in the heat of the moment following a briefing from his medical team regarding Danny Lydiate and were the result of his frustration and concern over the welfare of a player who has had a difficult history with injury. Mr Turner accepts that these are issues which would have been best dealt with directly with the WRU and not through the Media. "

Comment - Paul Turner has not been a successful coach of the Newport Gwent Dragons. He is by no means a favourite of this website because of his passion for all things Gwent. However, if he has been suspended for speaking his mind and criticising the WRU then that is regrettable. Rugby union in Wales is supposed to be a professional sport, its players are its most valuable assets. If ill-advisedly Turner vented his frustration about the WRU fitness tests then fair enough, let's move on. Of course, it may be there are other issues also influencing this decision that are not yet in the public domain.

Paul Turner in his own words - our collection of some of his best work

DRAGONS EURO HUMILIATION CONTINUES

 

Jan 24 - Glasgow secured their first Heineken Cup away win for two years with a scrappy triumph in the Pool Six dead-rubber at Newport Gwent Dragons.

An Aled Brew try and an 11-point kicking haul from Jason Tovey had put the Welsh hosts in a commanding 16-6 lead with half-an-hour remaining. But Glasgow produced a gritty fightback rallied by a Colin Gregor try. Canadian wing DTH van der Merwe touched down twice to condemn the Dragons to a 10th successive European defeat. Bring back Newport!

DRAGONS DOUGHTY EFFORT

 

Jan 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons put in a brave and doughty effort at Toulouse to deprive the European Champions of a winning bonus point at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Skipper Thierry Dusautoir touched down in each half for the hosts while Vincent Clerc also crossed in the opening period. Dragons fly-half Jason Tovey's kicked a first-half penalty, their only score in a 17-3 defeat. Att - 17,700

CONNACHT EDGED OUT

 

Jan 7 - Winger Aled Brew scored one try and set up another as Newport Gwent Dragons edged a 17-16 scrappy win over Irish development side Connacht. Brew scored his try after only three minutes. Troy Nathan then touched down after a well-worked move for Connacht following Eoin Griffin's off-load near the touchline before Ian Keatley converted in his 11-point haul. Brew then teed up Riley to touch down in a role-reversal of the first try.

 

TURNER FALLS OUT WITH PAYMASTERS

 

Jan 7 -  The Welsh Rugby Union is to write to the Dragons after the region's coach Paul Turner criticised Wales bosses over squad fitness tests. Turner had blasted the Wales camp claiming his star players had been put through tough conditioning checks.

But the WRU responded saying Dan Lydiate was already injured and did not take part in any Six Nations testing. "It's a disgrace, especially as we're a region with not great resources," Turner had said.

Ospreys coach Scott Johnson also complained the testing caused disarray. But Welsh rugby chiefs say Lydiate was one of five Dragons players invited to the session, the others being number eight Toby Faletau, Will Harries, Aled Brew and Luke Charteris. Faletau was the only player to take part in any tests, lasting just over two minutes according to a WRU spokesman. Turner told the Argus "Dan went down there with a couple of knocks (shoulder and knee problems) but he's been strength tested and come back unfit. They had him in there and though his neck wasn't right they've messed around with it and made it worse, when we distinctly said our players should not be tested this week."

 

SCARLETS RECOVER TO BEAT NGDs

 

Jan 2 - Llanelli Scarlets bounced back from their Ospreys thrashing to climb up to second in the Magners League with a hard-fought 21-15 win over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Parc y Scarlets. Rhys Priestland scored 16 of the points including one try, with former Dragon Gareth Maule claiming the other.

Wayne Evans and Aled Brew grabbed both the Dragons tries in a bad-tempered game which saw three players sin-binned - Aled Brew, Gavin Thomas and Scarlets' Jonathan Davies were all yellow-carded. Att- 9671!

PETRI SIGNS FOR DRAGS

 

Jan  1 - Newport GDs have signed Mike Petrie, the USA Eagles scrum half currently at Sale, to replace Danny Lee. Petrie will be on the bench for Newport in their holiday Monday fixture against Glamorgan Wanderers at Rodney Parade.

 

HOLIDAY FIXTURE OFF

Newport Gwent Dragons' bumper festive derby with Cardiff Blues has been postponed due to snow and a frozen Rodney Parade pitch. The Dragons had appealed to fans to help clear their pitch, which does not have under-soil heating, on Monday in a desperate bid to get their big game on.

The pitch is covered in 500 tonnes of snow but after temperatures of minus 11, the game has been called-off. The decision was made as temperatures are forecast to be similar on Sunday. Frost covers on top of the Rodney Parade pitch has been covered in a blanket of snow since last weekend - and the snow was insulating the pitch which until Christmas Day was soft and playable. The pitch was then due to be cleared by an army of supporters on the morning of the Welsh derby. But following sub-zero night-time temperatures, the pitch at Rodney Parade had frozen meaning the Dragons had to make the difficult decision for what captain Tom Willis had described "arguably their biggest game of the season."

Rodney Parade stadium manager Mark Jones admitted: "We are obviously bitterly disappointed...but we have been beaten by extraordinary weather conditions. "

WASPS BEAT FREEZE AND DRAGONS

 

Dec 20 - A superb second-half performance saw Wasps climb to the top of Pool Six of the Heineken Cup following a bonus-point win over the Dragons.

A stale first-half at a snow-flecked Causeway Stadium ended 3-3, penalties each for Matthew Jones and Dave Walder. Wasps turned on the style after the break with a 49th-minute Joe Ward try before two scores in five minutes from Mark van Gisbergen and Tom Varndell. Nic Berry added a fourth before Aled Brew scored a late consolation try. The defeat leaves the injury-ravaged Dragons firmly rooted to the bottom of Pool Six, continuing their miserable European campaign with their fourth defeat in four matches.

 

 

WASPS STING DRAGS

 

Dec 12 - Wasps needed a second-half fightback to overcome the Newport Gwent Dragons by 23-16 in Cardiff. Ashley Smith's early try and the boot of Jason Tovey gave Dragons a 10-0 lead, before Ben Jacobs' try and Dave Walder's boot got Wasps going. Steve Kefu deftly sent in winger David Lemi for a superb try after the break, while the Dragons lost Nigel Hall, Phil Price and Tovey to injury.  Tom Varndell got Wasps' final try although the Dragons ended the game on the attack. Att - 3700

 

STADIUM SWITCH FOR WASPS GAME!

 

Dec 9 - Newport Gwent Dragons’ Heineken Cup match against London Wasps on Sunday has been moved to Cardiff City Stadium. The pitch had been frozen, and in spite of the valiant efforts of the ground staff through this week, it is unlikely to be playable on Sunday so the decision has been made to give supporters as much notice as possible of the switch.
European regulations stipulate that the game must be played this weekend, and as such it had been arranged with Cardiff City Football Club that if the fixture could not be played at Rodney Parade, it would instead take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.
To assist with the cost of travel, a return bus service to the Cardiff City Stadium will be provided by Newport Transport, leaving from Rodney Parade. Supporters will be able to park free of charge at Rodney Parade before catching the bus to Cardiff. Busses will run from 11am with the Ticket Office, Clubhouse Bar and Club Shop open from 9am. Parking is limited and supporters are advised to get down here early.
Bus travel is available at £2 per head and to offset these costs, match tickets have been slashed to just £10 for adults, students and concessions, with under-16s going free. For stand tickets this presents a saving of £13 per ticket including transport to and from Rodney Parade

 

 

MUNSTER BEATEN

Nov 26 - Struggling Newport Gwent Dragons stunned Magners League leaders Munster with a much-needed 20-6 win at a snow-hit Rodney Parade. Tom Riley claimed his first try of the season after great build-up work by Toby Faletau. Gavin Thomas added the second driving over under a pile of bodies from two metres out. Munster came out firing in the second half but their only points came from the boot of Paul Warwick.

LEINSTER DEFEAT DRAGS

 

Nov 19 - Leinster secured a bonus point by scoring four tries in a convincing home win over Newport Gwent Dragons in the Magners League.

Shaun Berne and Shane Horgan crossed the Dragons line in the first half, with Isa Nacewa kicking two conversions and a penalty for the Irish province. Jason Tovey knocked over a penalty as Leinster led 17-3 at half-time. Horgan and Isaac Boss added further tries for the home side after the break while Tovey kicked his second penalty of the game for the visitors.

SAINTS EASE PAST NGDs

Nov 13 - Northampton proved far too strong for Newport Gwent Dragons as they cruised to a 28-3 home win in the LV=Cup. Saints, who won the competition last season, benefited from uncontested scrums as three Dragons players were sent to the sin-bin during the game. Tries from Paul Diggin, Calum Clark and Stephen Myler sealed the win although Northampton missed out on a fourth try which would have brought a bonus point. Dan Wray, Lloyd Burns and Nigel Hall were all sin-binned for the visitors. Attendance - 12,209

DRAGONS HOLD OFF GLAWS

 

Nov 5 - In a fine forward effort Newport Gwent Dragons beat Gloucester 18-12 in front of 5300 at Rodney Parade. Robin Sowden-Taylor was the pick of a fine Newport Gwent Dragons pack effort. The flanker scored a decisive late try from a rolling maul and then turned over possession as Gloucester hammered at the Dragons' line in injury time. Matthew Jones' boot and a try from wing Adam Hughes gave Dragons an early lead. Gloucester's scrummage earned a penalty try before Lesley Vainikolo went over, but the English side always trailed.

 

SURPRISE WIN OVER OSPREYS

 

October 30 - Tries from Toby Faletau and Wayne Evans helped the Dragons to a shock 21-16 win over Magners League champions Ospreys. Faletau opened the scoring after seeing off a number of challenges before racing into the corner.

The Ospreys responded at the start of the second half when Richard Fussell made a break on the outside and found Owen to race in under the posts. But the Dragons kept battling and good build-up work let Evans in to secure a first win at the Liberty Stadium.

DRAGONS WIN BUT FAIL TO GET BONUS POINT

 

October 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons made hard work of their Magners League basement battle triumph over Aironi at Rodney Parade. The hosts led 19-5 at the break as an Aled Brew try and Jason Tovey's boot did the damage while Giovanbattista Venditti replied with a try.

Adam Hughes scored the Dragons' second try after 67 minutes, Tovey converting. Hughes also scored with the last move of the match. Replacement Aironi prop Fabio Staibano was sent off for a second sin-bin offence within 14 second-half minutes and wing Hughes again struck late on.

CHAMPIONS TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS

 

October 16 - Toulouse, European champions, came to Newport, barely got out of second gear, and left with a 40-19 victory last night. The glittering array of talent at their disposal was simply too strong for a doughty and spirited Dragons side. The Dragons denied Stade Toulousain a bonus point restricting the champions to three tries only, one a brilliant and incisive break by Maxime Medard.

This was my first Dragons game since 2005, I stood among the Hazell Terrace crowd, passionate, biased, primitive, ill informed and well informed by equal measure. In short, a truly intimidating crowd to play or officiate before. Good to hear some people still shouting for Newport too amidst the pathetic 'ole! ole! Dragons' shite.

 

DRAGONS LOSE IN EURO CUP

 

October 8 - Newport Gwent Dragons went down 21-13 to Glasgow in the first round of the Heineken Cup. Despite getting the first try through Adam Hughes they struggled to contain the home side and were comfortably beaten.

 

DRAGONS LOSE IN ITALY

 

October 1 - A Chris Burton try was enough to send the Newport Gwent Dragons to their fourth defeat of the season against Italian side Treviso. Fabio Semenzato and Robert Sidoli were each sin-binned in a scrappy first half but Treviso made the most of their extra man with a Robert Barbieri try. Scott Morgan and Phil Price helped the Dragons claw their way back to 13-13. But Burton claimed Treviso's third win of the season going over with four minutes remaining.

 

SCARLETS EASE TO WIN

 

September 26 - Scarlets survived three yellow cards and a sloppy second-half show to win 26-14 at Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons. The visitors bossed the first half, as George North, Jon Davies and Matthew Rees claimed tries for a 24-3 lead.

But Davies and Rees were sin-binned just before half-time and Tavis Knoyle joined them soon after the restart. Dragons hit back with two Matthew Jones penalties and Will Harries' try, only for Stephen Jones' boot to ease Scarlets home with a late penalty. Att - 6120.

DRAGONS PUFFED OUT BY CARDIFF

 

September 19 - Cardiff Blues posted a bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons in a Magners League Welsh derby at Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff were victorious by 43-21 over their local rivals. The opening period was marred by the sight of home centre Casey Laulala being stretchered off in a neck brace. But the mood was lifted by tries from Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Thomas (2) and, after the break, Xavier Rush.. The Dragons' points came from Will Harries and Adam Hughes tries and fly-half Matthew Jones' boot.

 

TOVEY OUT FOR MONTH

 

September 16 - Outside half Jason Tovey is out for a month after suffering a torn hamstring but Bath centre Tom Cheeseman has joined the Dragons on a season long loan deal. Swansea-born Cheeseman, 24, returns to Wales after six seasons with the Aviva Premiership club. Cheeseman, son of ex-Swansea flanker Trevor has made 83 Bath appearances since joining from Swansea in 2004.

 

WIN FOR DRAGONS

 

September 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons put last week's opening defeat behind them with a comfortable if unspectacular 23-11 win over visiting Glasgow. The Dragons bossed the first half with Robin Sowden-Taylor and Aled Brew both forcing their way over for tries. Glasgow trailed 23-3 at half-time but improved after the break, with Richie Gray going over after a fine break from number eight Richie Vernon. Att-5028.

 

HUMILIATION FOR DRAGONS

 

September 5 - Magners League basement side Connacht hammered Newport Gwent Dragons 40-17 last night in Galway. The Dragons were totally outplayed and the injury problems were compounded by a late neck injury to Aled Brew. Their only points came from a second half Harries try (75 minutes), Matthew Jones scored three first half penalties.

 

DRAGONS SLUMP TO CARDIFF

 

August 30 - Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 19-3 at Cardiff City Stadium by the Cardiff Blues on Friday. The Martyn Williams testimonial drew a crowd of 10,000 plus.

A close-range Maama Molitika try converted by fly-half Dan Parks on his Blues debut made it 7-0 at half-time. Tom Shanklin added a try before going off with a minor arm injury, Jason Tovey's kick the Dragons' only score. Lloyd Williams got a late try, Parks adding a second conversion.

LONDON IRISH TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS

August 22 - London Irish back-row George Stowers came off the bench to score a brace of tries and help them to a pre-season win away to Newport Gwent Dragons by 33 points to 20 at Rodney Parade yesterday. Wing Topsy Ojo also crossed the line for the Exiles, while fly-half Ryan Lamb kicked 18 points. The Dragons also looked to their replacements to get them moving on the scoresheet, with David Bishop and Nicky Griffiths both claiming tries. Fly-half Jason Tovey kicked eight points and Matthew Jones another two.

WORCESTER BEAT NEWPORT SIDE

 

August 17 - Worcester beat a Newport Premiership team 45-10 at Sixways tonight. The so called Dragons Development Team was outpowered by seven tries to one. Jonathan Evans got the visitors' only try, Rhys Jones kicking five points.

 

FRIENDLY VICTORY FOR NGDs

 

August 15 - Newport Gwent Dragons scored four tries to secure a comfortable pre-season friendly 27-11 win away to the Cornish Pirates. Full-back Matt Evans, Scott Morgan, Aled Brew and Jason Tovey all ran home tries for the Newport based region. Tovey added two conversions, while Matthew Jones kicked a penalty. The Pirates only try came from replacement Matt Hopper, while Jonny Bentley claimed the rest of the points with two penalties.

 

WILLIS IS CAPTAIN AGAIN

 

August 9 - Tom Willis will once again lead the Newport Gwent Dragons as the 2010-11 season quickly approaches. It will be the third season in a row that the five-times capped All Black has captained the Dragons and he has made a big impact both on and off the pitch. The 31-year-old hooker played in 28 games during his first season at the region and 16 last year despite missing several weeks due to a calf injury.  Willis said:  “I’m very proud and happy to be captain of the Dragons again this season.  I have enjoyed my first two years as captain of the team.

 

BREW BACK FOR DRAGONS

 

August 4 - One-cap Wales three-quarter Nathan Brew has returned to Newport Gwent Dragons from Neath on a one-year contract. Brew, still only 28, spent seven years at Rodney Parade with Newport then the Dragons before leaving in 2007.

The centre or wing joined the Scarlets but moved to Bristol the following year then joined up with Neath last summer. "I am ecstatic to be back here, if I am honest ever since I left the Dragons I have regretted it," said Brew, who joins younger brother Aled in Newport.

 

 

 

 

 

  FIXTURES 2010 - 2011

 LEAGUE TABLE

Aug14 Cornish Pirates F W 27 11
Aug17

Worcester

F L 10 45
Aug21

LONDON IRISH

F L 20 33
Aug27

Cardiff

F L 3 19
Sep4

Connacht

C L 17 40
Sep12 GLASGOW C W 23 11
Sep18 Cardiff C L 21 43
Sep24

SCARLETS

C L 14 26
Oct1 Treviso C L 13 20
Oct8 Glasgow E L 13 21
Oct16

TOULOUSE

E L 19 40
Oct23 AIRONI C W 36 5
Oct30 Ospreys C W 21 16
Nov5 GLOUCESTER A W 18 12
Nov12

Northampton

A L 3 28
Nov19

Leinster

C L 6 27
Nov26 MUNSTER C W 20 6
Dec3

Ulster

C P    
Dec12 WASPS E L 16 23
Dec19

Wasps

E L 10 37
Dec27 CARDIFF C P    
Jan1 Scarlets C L 15 21
Jan8 CONNACHT C W 17 16
Jan15 Toulouse E L 3 17
Jan21 GLASGOW E L 16 23
Jan28 Sale A W 28 20
Feb4

SCARLETS

A W 26 9
Feb11 EDINBURGH C W 30 22
Feb18 Aironi C W    
Feb24 Glasgow C D 16 16
Mar5 Munster C L 17 38
Mar12

Gloucester

C L 17 45
Mar18

Ulster

C L 23 25
Mar26 LEINSTER C L 16 26
Apr 3 TREVISO C W 33 10
Apr15 OSPREYS C W    
Apr22 Edinburgh C L 15 27
APR29 CARDIFF C W 28 15
May6 ULSTER C      

Home fixtures in capitals. C denotes Celtic League  A - Anglo Welsh E - European