DFP Header Code

Match Page - Scoreboard

Match Page - Fixed Scoreboard



Match Centre - Preview - Current Standing A v B

Match Centre - Preview - H2H

Match Centre - Preview - Form Guide

Match Centre - Preview - Last Three Meetings

Season so far

Match Centre - Preview - Season So Far A v B

Tournament record

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team A)

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team B)

PREVIEW: Dragons braced to face world champion

Wednesday 16th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

Newport Gwent Dragons are set to have a World Cup winner between them and retaining top Pool 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. - 16/12/2015 14:51

Newport Gwent Dragons are set to have a World Cup winner between them and retaining top Pool 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. - 16/12/2015 14:51

Newport Gwent Dragons are set to have a World Cup winner between them and retaining top Pool 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Dragons beat Pau 22-0 at Rodney Parade last week to stay a point ahead of Sale Sharks. However, they are expected to face a different prospect this week at Stade du Hameau with All Blacks Conrad Smith and Colin Slade in the reckoning.

Smith arrived at the French club at the start of the week and it due to make his European debut by playing some part against the Dragons.

Pau director of rugby Simon Mannix said: “There will be changes to our teams and we will be using Saturday as a performance to prepare for a very important game against La Rochelle in the Top 14.

“We will see how the week goes for Conrad but we’d like to have him involved because it would be great for him to run out in front of our supporters at home.”

The arrival of Smith and Slade could not come at a better time. Pau, back in Europe after a lengthy absence, are looking for a first win in Europe in ten seasons after losses this season to Sale Sharks and Dragons.

Mannix said: “We will have the same spirit in Pau as we had last week in Newport. Our defence was pretty solid and the two Dragons tries were from our mistakes with the ball in hand.

“We know the opposition now and what the Dragons will bring. We’ve got to be more effective with ball in hand because we had enough ammunition to create things and we looked good when the game broke up.”

Dragons have been in impressive form at Rodney Parade winning five of their six games this season.

But they have lost all six games on the road this campaign, including a 32-29 loss at Castres Olympique in round two of the Challenge Cup.

However the losing bonus-point meant they came away with something. And in fly-half Dorian Jones, they boast the leading points-scorer in this season’s tournament so far.

Assistant coach Shaun Connor said: “We have to play with the same spirit and courage as we showed at Castres. They had a huge pack but we were ambitious and came away with a point. We will go to Pau for the win but we have to make sure we take something from the game.”
Match Facts

  • Newport Gwent Dragons became the first side ever to keep Pau scoreless in a Challenge Cup game last weekend, winning 22-0 at Rodney Parade.
  • Pau have won four of their six matches against Welsh teams in the Challenge Cup, though those two defeats came in their last two such fixtures.
  • Pau have won 20 of their 22 matches at home in the Challenge Cup, their only losses coming against London Irish.
  • Newport Gwent Dragons have won only twice from seven attempts against French opposition away from home in the Challenge Cup.

Match Centre - Preview - Lineups

REPORT: Dragons wreck Smith debut

Saturday 19th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

La Section paloise

La Section paloise

Newport Gwent Dragons wrecked Conrad Smith’s Challenge Cup debut with an inspired display to claim a 34-17 bonus-point triumph at Pau.

Cory Hill got Lyn Jones’ side off to a dream start before tries from Ashton Hewitt and Jason Tovey gave the Rodney Parade region a 24-0 lead at half-time. The bonus-point to put the Dragons back at the summit of pool two was wrapped up eight minutes after the break by Carl Meyer, before Tovey steered his side past a mini Pau revival.

The Dragons silenced the crowd with a solo score from Hill after five minutes.  Sarel Pretorious took a quick-tap penalty and weaved through the defence before the ball was recycled to Hill, who breached the defensive line. The lock raced through from 20 metres, beat one tackle and handed off a defender to score.

Pau looked to have pressed the self destruct button in the opening quarter. A huge shunt from the Dragons at a Pau scrum put the hosts under pressure, No8 Brice Monzeglio spilled the ball at the back allowing Jason Tovey to find Adam Hughes.

The centre had a crack at the try-line before former France full-back Damien Traille slowed the ball illegally and was shown a yellow card by referee Andrew Brace. Tovey converted the penalty to put the Dragons 10 points ahead after 18 minutes. It got even better for the Rodney Parade region when Rynard Landman handed ball off the top of the lineout to Pretorious.

The scrum-half laid the ball off to flying wing Hewitt, who raced past All Black Colin Slade to score at the posts and Tovey converted for a 17-0 lead. A dream first-half was complete when Tovey scooped up a loose Pau offload to race 35 metres and score for a 24-0 half-time lead.

The Dragons were prepared for a Pau onslaught after the break, but it never materialised and the Dragons had the bonus-point wrapped up within eight second-half minutes. A comedy of Pau errors gifted the Dragons possession, and it was Hewitt again who broke clear.

The ball was recycled to fly-half Tovey, who found Meyer with a perfectly weighted cross-field kick for the try, which Tovey converted from the touchline for a 31-0 advantage. Pau finally found some motivation and built some pressure up-front.  Try-scorer Hill was shown yellow for pulling down a promising maul, and the French side struck to score their first try.

Former Munster man Paddy Butler was shunted over for the score, before Slade completely miss-hit the conversion. The hosts managed to build some territory and possession in the final quarter, but Tovey completed the set with a drop-goal to take the sting out of the Pau resurgence.
Mosese Ratuvou crossed with ten minutes remaining, before Watisoni Votu was setup by Smith to go over at the death for a consolation score.


LIVE - TEST - Commentary

Match Page - Summary

Match Page - Timeline


Match Report - Team Stats (Attack)


Match Report - Team Stats (Defence)


Match Report - Team Stats (Kicking)


Match Report - Team Stats (Breakdown)

Set Plays

Match Report - Team Stats (Set Piece)


Match Report - Team Stats (Discipline)

Match Page - Player Performance