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Dragons will need to upset the formbook if they are to qualify for the Round of 16 in the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday night, when they host Gloucester Rugby in their Pool B finale.
Bottom of the group with one point, the Welsh region are on a five-game losing streak in the competition, their longest ever such run.
The match at Rodney Parade, which kicks off at 20:00 UK and Irish time, will be shown live on S4C.
Other key facts:
- Dragons have won just one of their last eight games against Premiership opponents in the competition (25-16 v Worcester Warriors in December 2019).
- Dragons and Gloucester have met three times before in European competition, with the Premiership side winning both Heineken Cup pool stage clashes in the 2009/2010 campaign. However, Dragons won their only prior meeting to date in the EPCR Challenge Cup, at the quarter-final stage in 2015/16 (23-21).
- Gloucester have lost their last six away games in European competition, with their last victory coming against Exeter Chiefs in December 2018 (27-19), but they have already qualified for the Round of 16.
- Dragons have the quickest average ruck speed amongst all teams in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup (2.8 seconds). Gloucester, on the other hand, have recorded the fifth-slowest ruck speed this term (3.7 seconds).
- Dragons’ Taine Basham has beaten 17 defenders in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, the most of any player and almost double the tally of Gloucester’s best player (Jack Clement, 9).
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Hooker Santiago Socino scored a hat-trick of tries as Gloucester Rugby concluded their EPCR Challenge Cup pool stage campaign with a victory.
With second place in Pool B already assured prior to kick off, Gloucester took the lead through Socino’s first try, but Dragons hit back through scores from Taine Basham and Jared Rosser.
A Louis Rees-Zammit effort for Gloucester on 36 minutes reduced the deficit to two points, but Harrison Keddie powered over in the final play of the first half for Dragons’ third try.
Back in the game 👊
Santiago Socino powers over for @gloucesterrugby as this game heats up🔥
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) April 9, 2022
Gloucester spent much of the second half on top, however, and made their pressure pay as Socino crossed for his second and third tries in quick succession either side of 65 minutes.
The scores proved decisive for Gloucester, who will now take on Northampton Saints at home in the Round of 16. Dragons, meanwhile, exit the competition after finishing bottom of Pool B.