Dragons upset Glasgow at Firhill
January 9, 2009
Dragons wing Richard Fussell crossed for one of three tries
© Getty Images
James Arlidge celebrated becoming a father in style as Newport Gwent Dragons tore up the Magners League form book to extend their remarkable winning record in Glasgow.
Fly-half Arlidge stepped off the bench early in tonight's clash at Firhill and helped himself to 15 points as the Dragons beat the Warriors away from home for the fifth time in a row. Arlidge missed last week's defeat at the Scarlets due to the birth of his first child, but he scored the first of the visitors' three tries, the others coming from Rory Sidney and Richard Fussell.
Glasgow's sole touchdown came courtesy of Thom Evans, while Dan Parks matched Arlidge's contribution with the boot. Fourth before kick-off, Glasgow had won three of their previous four Magners League games, while the Dragons had lost three of their last four.
The Warriors had also lost only once at Firhill in the Magners League in the past year, while the visitors had tasted victory only once on their travels in the same period. It was a matter of seconds before they were behind, a fumble from Parks' kick-off eventually punished with a penalty in front of the posts.
Glasgow lost lock Opeta Palepoi to a suspected dislocated finger, with Dan Turner introduced for his 100th Warriors appearance. The Dragons were forced to withdraw Shaun Connor for Arlidge, whose penalty deservedly drew the visitors level 13 minutes in.
Glasgow woke up and piled on the pressure inside their opponents' 22. They were rewarded with a penalty out wide but Parks failed to convert. Midway through the half, Palepoi returned and the Warriors almost immediately scored in the corner after John Barclay and Sam Pinder had broken clear.
But moments later, Bernardo Stortoni's suicide pass was intercepted by Arlidge, who raced 60 metres to score a try he converted from under the posts. Glasgow were losing their discipline and were let off when Arlidge missed a 45-metre penalty.
It was then the Dragons' turn to blunder. A fumbled pass was punted ahead by Graeme Morrison and Thom Evans won the foot race to score. Parks hit the post with a tough touchline conversion. The Dragons regained their seven-point advantage shortly before the interval, a deft Jason Tovey chip releasing Fussell and Sidney for the latter to score. Arlidge failed to convert.
Parks then booted a 40-metre penalty on the stroke of half-time to make it 15-11 to the visitors. Glasgow withdrew Stortoni for Ruaridh Jackson after the break but he failed to ignite the opening 10 minutes of the half.
And when a score came, it went to the Dragons, Fussell crossing following a suspiciously forward-looking pass. Arlidge converted to put daylight between the teams but another monster Parks penalty made it 22-14.
Glasgow were suddenly rampant but had to settle for a Parks drop-goal midway through the half to cut the deficit further. Arlidge kept the Dragons at arm's length with another penalty, which Parks immediately cancelled out with his own latest 40-metre strike.
With the Dragons lead just five points going into the final 10 minutes, it was still anyone's game. Deep into injury-time Glasgow got to within inches of a dramatic try but magnificent defence saw the Dragons deservedly hold on.
Glasgow: Stortoni, O'Hare, M. Evans, Morrison, T. Evans, Parks, Pinder, Va'a, Thomson, Low, Palepoi, Kellock, Eddie, Barclay, Brown.
Replacements: Jackson for Stortoni (41), Gregor for Pinder (57), Tckachuk for Va'a (53), Hall for Thomson (53), Turner for Palepoi (3), Vernon for Eddie (57). Not Used: Henderson.
Newport-Gwent Dragons: Tovey, Wyatt, Sidey, Davies, Fussell, Connor, W. Evans, Black, Willis, R. Thomas, A. Hall, Charteris, MacDonald, L. Evans, Lydiate.
Replacements: Smith for Sidey (78), Arlidge for Connor (9), A. Jones for A. Hall (62), Ringer for Lydiate (49). Not Used: S. Jones, N. Hall, Isaacs.
Ref: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
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