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Dragons edged out late on by Bears



Dragons and Bristol served up a breathless pre-season encounter as the English side produced a late surge to win an 11-try clash 45-28 in the Rodney Parade sunshine.

Angus O’Brien, Ollie Griffiths and Sean Lonsdale grabbed first half tries as the Men of Gwent impressed and deservedly took a lead into the break.

Newcomer Bradley Roberts then grabbed a fourth home try at the start of the second period for the home side. But Bristol dug deep and snatched the win wth two late tries after a night of high entertainment in Newport.

Dragons gave six new signings a starting spot – with O’Brien, Sio Tomkinson, JJ Hanrahan, Lonsdale, Roberts and Rhodri Jones all featuring from the off.

But it was Bristol who opened the scoring in the third minute as a powerful driving maul surged forward and, on the second drive, visiting hooker Bryan Byrne forced his way over. Callum Sheedy converted.

Dragons, though, hit back immediately with Tomkinson – playing his first rugby in nine months – the architect as his delayed pass freed up space down the left and O’Brien showed his pace before cutting inside to score a fine effort.

Tomkinson was impressing early on with his clever grubber collected by Lonsdale before the ball was fizzed right and John Hawkins was yellow carded for illegally slowing ball.

Dragons looked set to strike for a second time but a long-floated miss pass went over the head of Rosser when the wing looked set to stride over.

Sheedy set up a second score for the visitors – his grubber collected by wing Rich Lane – before back came the hosts once more.

More neat handling from Dyer and a direct run from Rosser, who freed cleverly freed his arms to release the evasive O’Brien, opened space.

The full back skipped up close before the forwards showed good composure to work up to the line before Griffiths duly blasted over.

Dragons looked lethal on the counter as loose ball was gobbled up in midfield and Tomkinson showed sublime handling to pick up a low pass and then dummy his way into space.

Rhodri Williams and Huw Taylor carried ball before new boy Lonsdale finished off the flowing move to a huge ovation.

Visiting centre James Williams hit back after a period of sustained pressure as Dragons took a 21-19 lead into the break.

The home side were back off and running moments into the second half as Roberts broke through, after Rosser’s burst through a gap had splintered the defence.

Both teams started to unload the benches with Rob Evans and Max Clark getting their first taste of Rodney Parade action.

Bristol looked to turn the screw and enjoyed a long spell of possession in the home half before they were rewarded as the driving maul powered over.

The visitors were enjoying territorial dominance in the final quarter and, after spirited defence held a driving lineout at bay, a sniping run from Harry Randall saw the Bears snatch the lead.

Dragons pushed for a late score to try and win the game, but two late breakaway scores from Henry Purdy put a tilted gloss on the score line for the visitors.


03m Byrne t Sheedy c 0-7

07m O’Brien t Hanrahan c 7-7

14m Lane t 7-12

23m Griffiths t Hantahan c 14-12

29m Lonsdale t Hanrahan c 21-12

38m Williams t Sheedy c 21-19

41m Roberts t Hanrahan c 28-19

61m Capon t 28-24

76m Randall t MacGinty c 28-31

79m Purdy t MacGinty c 28-38

80m Purdy t MacGinty c 28-45

Dragons: Angus O’Brien (J. Williams 40), Rio Dyer, Sio Tomkinson (Richards 69), Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser (Clark 52), JJ Hanrahan (Reed 67), Rhodri Williams (Jones 52); Rhodri Jones (Evans 52), Bradley Roberts, Chris Coleman (Fairbrother 33), Huw Taylor, Sean Lonsdale, Harri Keddie (Moa 34-40), Lennon Greggains (Moa 65), Ollie Griffiths (Nott 39)

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Lloyd Fairbrother, George Nott, Ben Moa, Lewis Jones, Will Reed, Max Clark, Jordan Williams, Josh Reynolds, James Benjamin, David Richards

Bristol Bears: Luke Morahan, Jack Bates, Joe Jenkins, James Williams, Rich Lane, Callum Sheedy, Tom Whiteley; Jake Woolmore, Bryan Byrne, Jonathan Benz-Salomon, Morgan Eames, Joe Owen, John Hawkins, Jake Heenan, Magnus Bradbury.

Replacements: Jake Kerr, Will Capon, Yann Thomas, George Kloska, Max Lahiff, Ed Holmes, Dan Thomas, Sam Lewis, Harry Randall, Andy Uren, AJ MacGinty, Henry Purdy, Ioan Lloyd. Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)

Attendance: 4,491

Content & Images from – Dragons Rugby


Glasgow destroy Cardiff with 8 try victory



Eight tries and a half-century of points saw Glasgow Warriors open their BKT United Rugby Championship account in style, earning a 52-24 victory over Cardiff at Scotstoun this evening.

Player of the Match George Horne grabbed 17 points, with a brace from Fraser Brown, a try apiece from Zander and Matt Fagerson and scores from Cole Forbes, Thomas Gordon and Stafford McDowall accounting for the scoreline.

Straight from the opening kick-off, it was evident that this was a Glasgow Warriors team with one objective in mind. An industrious opening spell from Scott Cummings saw the second-rower heavily involved at the set-piece and in the loose, whilst the speed of thought and foot from Horne kept the Cardiff defence on their toes.

However, it would be the visitors who would open the scoring with a quarter of an hour on the clock, somewhat against the run of play. After a lengthy stoppage due to an ankle injury to Rory Darge that saw the flanker head to hospital for treatment, the Welshmen caught their hosts cold. Max Llewellyn’s break through the middle took Cardiff into the Glasgow 22, before a looping pass from Jarrod Evans put Josh Adams over in the corner. Evans added the conversion, and Cardiff led 7-0.

Glasgow’s response was immediate, and showcased what was to come from Franco Smith’s men. A superb offload from Tom Jordan put Cole Forbes through a gap, who in turn sent Sebastian Cancelliere racing clear. Only an illegal intervention from Thomas Young could prevent the Warriors from scoring, earning the openside a yellow card from referee Chris Busby.

It took the Warriors precisely 45 seconds to make the most of their numerical advantage, and they did it in textbook fashion. Fraser Brown’s lineout was pinpoint accurate to Cummings, before Brown himself burrowed over the line from the rolling maul. Horne converted, and the scores were tied.

Straight from the restart, Smith’s men struck for what could already be a try of the season contender. Identifying the space, Stafford McDowall sent Sione Tuipulotu through a gap, who in turn timed his pass to perfection to send Cancelliere sprinting clear. The Argentinian drew the last man before popping the ball to Forbes, with the full-back outpacing the cover defence to touch down. Horne’s conversion attempt was true, and the Warrior Nation were in full voice.

The noise continued to grow moments later, as the home side crossed for their third try in a nine-minute spell. A superbly executed 50-22 from Tuipulotu gave the Warriors field position, before Zander Fagerson was stopped just inches short of the line. It was left to younger brother Matt to apply the finishing touch, picking up and going down the blindside to barge over the whitewash. A third conversion from Horne took the score to 21-7 after half an hour, and Scotstoun was rocking.

Even a yellow card to Tom Jordan on his first home start couldn’t puncture the home side’s momentum, as Cummings and Kyle Steyn combined to drive the visitors fully 20 metres backwards in a superb defensive shift.

A penalty from Evans was all that Cardiff could muster during the sin bin period, and it would be Glasgow that would finish the half on the front foot. A half-break from Dempsey and a perfectly-timed offload to Horne sent the scrum-half scampering clear, chipping ahead to pin Cardiff on their own try-line. Cummings’ chargedown forced a five-metre scrum in his side’s favour, and after Tuipulotu and Richie Gray went close, Horne himself would snipe over for the classic scrum-half score. Converting his own try for good measure, the Warriors headed back to the changing rooms with a 28-10 lead at the interval.

Content & Images from – Glasgow Warriors Rugby

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Failure to deal with sin-binning periods cost us – Young



Dai Young says Cardiff were made to pay for their failure to deal with sin-binning periods after suffering a 52-24 defeat to Glasgow Warriors on Friday.

The hosts scored four of their eight tries while the Blue and Blacks were reduced to 14 men, with Thomas Young and Uilisi Halaholo both spending 10 minutes each in the sin bin.


After a bright start in Scotstoun, where Cardiff took the lead courtesy of a Josh Adams try, the momentum of the game shifted following Young’s sin-binning, leading to a trio of quickfire scores from the hosts.


The Director of Rugby was disappointed with how the yellow cards allowed Glasgow to take control of the encounter, and says it’s vitally important that his side learn the lessons from the defeat.


Young said: “It’s disappointing obviously and the scoreboard is quite ugly when you look at it at the end.


“But I thought we had a really good start. We got our noses in front and we were right in the game.


“Then we had a pretty harsh yellow card against Thomas [Young], but that happens on occasions.


“We certainly didn’t control that 10 minutes the way we wanted to. They scored three tries and 21 points in that period which obviously meant we’d be chasing the game a little bit.


“Another yellow card in the second half, and they scored another try so that’s four tries following yellow cards.


“That’s a big thing that we need to get better at – controlling those periods when we’re down to 14. It will inevitably happen in this game.


“I thought a couple of calls went against us but as the game went on we also controlled the collisions poorly. They started again on top, winning collisions, and once that starts to happen then they’ll get speed of ball and it becomes very hard for us to control them defensively.


“We played good stuff on occasions and left points out there but we’re obviously disappointed to lose by that much.


“We’ve got to learn a lot from it, but ultimately the story of the day was the yellow cards and how we dealt with those periods because they will happen. It doesn’t matter how you play the game, there will be yellow cards.”


Following tries from Adams, Kristian Dacey and Liam Belcher, Cardiff’s hopes of leaving Glasgow with a bonus point were alive in the final 10 minutes, but ultimately left empty handed.


Young called for more composure in the final stages and insists his side must continue to work hard on the training ground as they seek improvements.


The former Wales prop added: “We had opportunities for the bonus point but we were rushing it. We had 10 minutes to score a try but were flapping at it a little bit.


“As I said, we’ve got to try and take the positives out of tonight. The scoreboard is ugly, nobody wants to see that, but there were positives, things we can improve on and things we can do better.


“When we get opportunities we’ve got to be more clinical and got to keep working on our physicality, which is something we knew coming into the season.


“It’s something we struggled with on occasions last season against the better teams, and did win it from parts of the game today, but by the second half we started to lose more and more collisions which meant they controlled the speed of ball.


“They’re too good of a team to be given quick ball.


“You’ll win rugby games and you’ll lose some. We’re not happy with tonight’s performance but what we’ve got to look at is trying to improve every week.


“We will come up against good teams, and tonight that was nigh-on an international team we played against. You don’t get much tougher than that.


“We need to take the positive, build on them and try to take the negatives out of our game.


“Next week is another game where we’re at home. We want to keep building.


“This season is going to go where we’ll win some games and lose some games but our focus can’t change.


“Our focus has to be to build on the things we do well and keep working on things that don’t go well. Hopefully, by doing that, we’ll win more than we lose.”

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby

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Roos ready to tear it up



DHL Stormers coach John Dobson is picking his No 8 Evan Roos to make a statement in the defending champions’ Vodacom United Rugby Championship opener against Connacht in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

Kick-off is 14h30 at the Danie Craven Stadium and tickets are available from Webtickets. CLICK HERE to buy your tickets now.

“Evan is chomping to get going. He had an incredible 2021/22 season, which resulted in Springboks Test selection and I know he is amped to put in a performance to make a statement that he will be even better this season,” said Dobson.

“He got a taste of international rugby. He wants more and he knows that the Vodacom URC is his stage to make his on-field statements, individually and most pertinently to the collectiver of the DHL Stormers,” Dobson added.

Roos was the posterboy for the inaugural Vodacom URC, his rampaging carries and dynamic support play dominating the league’s weekly highlights.

A Paarl Boys High prodigy, Roos left Cape Town for the Cell C Sharks after matriculating but was back in Cape Town in 2020.

His skill-set meshed perfectly with the DHL Stormers script and he flourished in a team of gamebreakers.

Partnered with speedster Hacjivah Dayimani and breakdown specialist Deon Fourie, Roos starred in a tenacious back row that pressured rivals in attack and defence, combining skill with speed and a high work rate.

The DHL Stormers recovered from a slow start to win 12 of 18 league matches, scalping Edinburgh, Ulster and the Vodacom Bulls in the playoffs to cap an 11-match win streak with an 18-13 victory in the Cape Town Grand Final.

Roos led the charge and the 22-year-old was rewarded when it came time to dish out league accolades, named the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, Fans’ Player of the Season, Next-Gen Player of the Season and he earned a place in the Vodacom URC Dream Team.

In winning Player of the Season, Roos beat off challenges from Vodacom Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee and his teammate Ruan Nortje, Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Vincent Tshituka (Emirates Lions) and Warrick Gelant, another key member of the DHL Stormers’ championship-winning side.

This was just reward for a player who topped the competition statistics for offloads, carries made and tackles broken, while finishing fourth for metres gained, the highest-placed forward.

He also made a lasting impression when he scored a remarkable try in the final, surging headlong through some of the meatiest Vodacom Bulls to score.

The explosive No.8 will be central to the defending champions’ quest to repeat. A pillar of strength up front, Roos combines traditional South African aggression with levels of athleticism more common to a pack from one of the Pacific Island nations. He is a unique talent, rapid and gruff.

While these traits elevated Roos into the national team, the ambitious No.8 will not be content with his first and only Test cap to date – a 46-minute cameo in a Springbok home loss against Wales in July.

For the DHL Stormers faithful, Roos is not only the perfect option at the back of the scrum and line-out, but also the man to power up the Bok pack at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Roos will get his legs churning on Saturday to convert the few who may still doubt his world-class qualities.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby

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