The Dragons end an abject season on a low with a loss against the Lions

The Dragons ended their dismal season without winning a game at home as they lost 21-11 to the Lions at Rodney Parade.

Dean Ryan’s side drew 13-13 with Benetton in January but lost all their other home matches, with only wins at Connacht and the Scarlets to cheer on.

They led 11-7 at half-time in this final leg of the campaign after a 25th-minute try from right winger Rio Dyer and two penalties from fly-half Will Reed.

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And the home side had reasonable value for their advantage after enjoying most of the territory and possession throughout the first 40 minutes.

But the Lions were still in touch after a well-crafted try from Edwill van der Merwe in the 34th minute and still looked like they could squeeze out their extra volume as the game wore on.

That’s exactly what they did. In the 53rd minute, the Dragons were down 10 points after early second-half tries from lock Ruan Venter and right prop Ruan Dreyer, both converted by fly-half Jordan Hendrikse.

The Dragons, eager to give their fans something, rallied for the final quarter.

Center Josh Lewis thought he had claimed a try 12 minutes from time when he intercepted a pass and sprinted clear.

But referee Joy Neville consulted the TMO and the score was correctly ruled out for a miss on the ground, with Lewis tripping just yards from the line proving costly.

There was little going on in the game for either team, causing a bland and indifferent atmosphere at Rodney Parade for periods of the game.

In the end, the Lions made their size and power matter. They dominated the scrum, knocking the Dragons back painfully on several occasions and they decisively won the battle for the winning line.

The Dragons were weakened, with Welsh international strikers Ross Moriarty, Ben Carter, Leon Brown, Aaron Wainwright and Will Rowlands all missing.

But there was always a sense that their followers were happy to see the final curtain fall on a nightmarish campaign.


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Charles P. Patton