Dragons cruise past Treviso
April 3, 2011
Aled Brew helped himself to two tries in the Dragons' impressive win over Treviso
© Getty Images
Newport Gwent Dragons moved up to seventh in the Magners League table as they racked up a comfortable 33-10 victory over Treviso at Rodney Parade on Sunday to give themselves a slim chance of claiming Heineken Cup qualification.
Adam Hughes, Aled Brew and Ashley Smith crossed in the first half as the hosts took a 19-3 lead. Fly-half Kristopher Burton got a try back for the Italians but further tries from Brew and Will Harries sealed the bonus-point win for the Dragons. However, there was some bad news for the Gwent outfit as Wales lock Luke Charteris went off with a suspected rib cartilage injury.
The Dragons looked quite comfortable by the break after a pretty low-key first half-hour. The teams were only separated by a ninth try of the season from centre Hughes, who went over when the ball ran loose on the left as Tom Riley and fullback Martyn Thomas pressurised the defence. From there, Hughes hacked on to the line and stretched high to beat defender Gonzalo Garola to the ball.
Centre Smith came on when Thomas, who has only been back since January 26 from a nine-month leg injury absence, slowly limped off with another leg problem. Smith, back after a month out with a shoulder injury, immediately had an impact as he made one try and scored another to give the Dragons a 19-3 advantage at the break.
Firstly, faced with being put into touch on the right while inside the Treviso 22, he cross-kicked to the middle of the field with the outside of his boot to put wing Brew over. And when a hole appeared in the Treviso defence three minutes from the interval, No.8 Toby Faletau went through to set his team-mate up for a run under the posts.
Outside-half Burton put Treviso on the board in injury time with a penalty from 25 metres but it was still a long way back for the Italians. However, they came out fighting at the start of the second half and were rewarded when Burton took a pass from a ruck and went through Wayne Evans and Jason Tovey from five metres out to score near the posts, making his conversion simple.
Burton could have reduced the arrears further but a penalty on 49 minutes hit a post. And Treviso captain Antonio Pavanello could count himself lucky to still be on the pitch five minutes later when he clearly punched Dragons replacement back-rower Gavin Thomas but got away with a warning.
And the Italians hopes of an unlikely victory were soon extinguished as the Dragons went up a gear. Smith and Tovey combined to send Brew in for the bonus-point try, and moments later Tovey's chip over the defence was caught by wing Harries to sprint 40 metres unopposed.
Just to add to their misery, Treviso finished the game with 13 men after Gonzalo Padro was sin-binned for pushing Evans to the floor, and prop Diego Vidal saw yellow for dangerous play.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers
Martin Gillingham looks at the state of play in the Top 14 and gives his take on the club versus country battle harming the prospects of the French side
Manu Tuilagi, Cockerill's psychological warfare and Saracens' brute strength - it is the Monday Maul