Dragons show Zebre no mercy
August 31, 2012
Andy Tuilagi ran in the first of four tries for the Dragons as they started the new season with a win against Zebre
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The Dragons got the new season off to a winning start when they ran in four tries before half-time against RaboDirect Pro12 new boys Zebre to win 37-6.
Andy Tuilagi and Mike Harries grabbed a try apiece by the 20-minute mark, before DJ Evans added a brace before the break. Tom Prydie weighed in with 14 points with the boot, while Italy fly-half Luciano Orquera scored Zebre's only points with two penalties.
Wales national coach Warren Gatland and assistant Neil Jenkins watched from the stand and they would have been impressed by the form of Wales regulars Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau, who both had good run-outs against a Zebre side who showed plenty of fighting spirit on their debut in the competition.
Full-back Evans had a glorious 40 minutes. The Wales Under-20 cap, who was making his debut for the Gwent side after five seasons at the Scarlets, set up the first try of the campaign for Tuilagi on 13 minutes, before he scored two himself towards the end of the half.
Harries' try began when hooker Steve Jones retrieved a loose ball. The Dragons skipper ran on and passed to Prydie before the wing produced a piece of quick-thinking. He was tackled into touch but threw the ball straight back into play and found Jones who laid the ball to Harries to storm over.
Jones booted a drop-goal while Prydie added all four conversions to an early penalty against two penalties from Zebre stand-off Orquera. Zebre, with the pack working as a unit and a wily scrum-half in Italy international Tito Tebaldi behind, put pressure on the Welshmen for quite a while in the second period but failed to find a route to the line.
As the clocked ticked over the hour mark, the Dragons finally got the scoreboard moving again when Zebre infringed in front of their posts and Prydie popped over his second penalty. To their credit, the Italians were enterprising in attack all night with the ball in hand and were not worried about throwing it around via the forwards or backs - which kept the home side on their toes.
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