Dragons Ran Riot Against Zebre Parma


The Dragons’ revival continued in emphatic fashion at Rodney Parade with a five-try 47-7 victory over Zebre Parma.

A third victory of the campaign sees the Men of Gwent occupying the relative heady heights of mid-table in the United Rugby Championship, with more wins by the end of October than the two they managed all last season.

While their supporters will have expected no less against an Italian side who arrived in Newport without a win from their first six games, the manner of this success endorsed the feeling that better days lie ahead.

The confidence derived from an impressive 32-25 victory against the Ospreys six days earlier was clear to see in the way the home side began the game.

They monopolised possession and revelled in slick passing and probing the wider channels.

The Dragons’ opening try was a beauty. Samoan prop Aki Seiuli started the move 10 metres inside his own half by stealing the ball at the breakdown and bursting forward.

Wales number eight Ross Moriarty was in support and his delayed pass to Rhodri Williams on the switch saw the scrum-half gallop home underneath the posts.

The score set the tone for the rest of the first half, which saw the Dragons build a 26-7 lead.

Zebre did hit back when second-row Andrea Zambonin went over for a well-worked try in the 33rd minute, but other than that the hosts were firmly in the ascendancy.

A breakaway try by Dragons right wing David Richards, a product of Monmouth School, shortly before the Zambonin score put further daylight between the teams.

The rock-solid left boot of Sam Davies provided further ballast. The Dragons' fly-half was successful with six out of six shots at goal which yielded 14 points of that interval total.

Nobody anticipated a second-half Zebre recovery and, when centre Steff Hughes claimed his side’s third try in the 47th minute off a majestic run and sidestep by Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright, there was not even a distant prospect of one materialising.

Further tries from full-back Angus O’Brien, Richards again and another three conversions from Davies for a nine-out-of-nine tally for attempts at goal sealed a huge win.

Dragons RFC: Tries: Rhodri Williams, Steffan Hughes, David Richards (2), Angus O'Brien. Conversions: Sam Davies (5). Penalties: Sam Davies (4).
Zebre Parma: Try: Leonard Krumov. Conversion: Tiff Eden.


Dragons RFC: 15. Angus O’Brien, 14. David Richards, 13. Steff Hughes, 12. Max Clark, 11. Jared Rosser, 10. Sam Davies, 9. Rhodri Williams, 8. Ross Moriarty, 7. Harrison Keddie (c), 6. Aaron Wainwright, 5. Sean Lonsdale, 4. Joe Davies, 3. Lloyd Fairbrother, 2. Elliot Dee, 1. Aki Seiuli. Replacements: 16. James Benjamin, 17. Rob Evans, 18. Chris Coleman, 19. Huw Taylor, 20. Ben Fry, 21. Gonzalo Bertranou, 22. JJ Hanrahan, 23. Aneurin Owen.

Zebre Parma: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Latu Latunipulu, 13. Tommaso Boni, 12. Damiano Mazza, 11. Jacopo Trulla, 10. Tiff Eden, 9. Chris Cook, 8. Taina Fox-Matamua, 7. Iacopo Bianchi, 6. Davide Ruggeri, 5. Leonard Krumov, 4. Andrea Zambonin, 3. Matteo Nocera, 2. Jacques Du Toit (c), 1. Juan Pitinari. Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Alessio Sanavia, 18 Muhamed Hasa, 19 Jan Uys, 20 Giacomo Ferrari, 21 Ratko Jelic, 22 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 23 Lorenzo Pani.