Dragons 32 - 12 Edinburgh: Capital side reduced to 13 men in shoddy display

Michael Bradley watched Edinburgh slide to a heavy defeat despite leading in the first half
Michael Bradley watched Edinburgh slide to a heavy defeat despite leading in the first half
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Edinburgh suffered their second successive away defeat as their trip to Wales ended in a 32-12 loss at Rodney Parade.

There was not even a losing bonus point for coach Michael Bradley whose side failed to replicate the performance that earned them victory at Cardiff Blues earlier this month.

Scorers

Dragons: Try – P Price. Pens – T Prydie 6. Drop goals– Steffan Jones 3

Edinburgh: Tries – Brown, Visser. Con: Leonard

Bradley said: “We knew the Dragons would be in a nasty mood tonight because of their last couple of results. I thought they were sharper than us after the first 20 minutes. We were poor at the breakdown and we got on the wrong side of the referee.

“We gifted them 12 points and then started chasing the game in the second-half. A couple of yellow cards and going down to 13 men for the second week in a row is not a good position in which to find yourself.

“The Dragons kept their shape in the second-half and piled on the points and deserved their victory. We had some patches of good play but we turned over the ball far too regularly.

“The main positive is that we have not played like that before – and hopefully we will not see it again.”

The visitors found themselves 10 points and a man down at half-time after taking the lead and looking good in the opening quarter. From that juncture, they were never to recover.

With an early advantage in the scrum and the Dragons suffering an injury to Welsh international flanker Dan Lydiate, with what seemed a nasty ankle twist, it looked highly promising as a well-worked try put Edinburgh in charge.

A line-out on the left, inside the Dragons’ 22, saw the ball quickly spun through Richie Rees and Harry Leonard for wing Tim Visser to take it on the burst through the middle.

When the Dragons closed in, Visser threw a long, high pass across to the right for opposite wing Tom Brown to collect and dive in at the corner. It set-up Edinburgh nicely but what happened later in the half was a bit bewildering. The line-out failed to function with Andy Titterrell losing his direction. On top of that, the penalty count began to build up in favour of the Dragons who made the most of it.

It didn’t help Edinburgh’s cause either that home wing Tom Prydie landed four penalties in the first-half as the visitors surrendered their lead.

Time and again the visitors conceded penalties in kickable position and Prydie, who also had a brief spell with London Wasps last season, kicked each one with ease.

Edinburgh had the chance to capitalise on some laxity from the home team when hooker Steve Jones was sent to the sin-bin for an offside offence at the ruck.

However, Edinburgh were unable to take advantage and, indeed, they found themselves on level terms player-wise when captain Sean Cox was sent to the sin bin.

However, he complained bitterly to referee John Lacey that he was not guilty of taking out Dragons lock Ian Nimmo out while the bearded second row was in the air.

He may have had a point as Robert McAlpine could have been the guilty party. 
Nevertheless, it would have made no difference.

Edinburgh then found themselves in deeper trouble either side of half-time when they were caught napping by young home prop Phil Price at a line-out.

Price, throwing the ball into the line while Jones was in the bin, quickly sent it to Nimmo at the front. The former Cornish Piurates lock returned the compliment and Price showed good pace to flash down the right wing from 30 metres into the corner.

That gave the Dragons a 17-7 half-time lead and it got worse for Edinburgh as Prydie extended the home lead to 13 points with another penalty.

With Cox still off the field, 
Edinburgh were down to 13 men when flanker Ross Rennie was sent to the sin-bin for 
killing the ball in a ruck.

They now faced an uphill task to get anything from the match, let alone win it. Two drop goals from home fly-half Steffan Jones before the hour sealed their fate although they did strike back on the hour with a well-worked try in the corner by Visser.

A further Prydie penalty and Jones drop-goal put the Dragons out of sight.

No losing bonus point and not much to take from a game that was signed and sealed in the Dragons’ favour by half time. The final quarter was, indeed, improved, but coach Michael Bradley will have plenty to say when the side return on Monday morning ahead of Friday’s game against Treviso.

Dragons: D Evans, A Hughes, P Leach, A Tuilagi (A Smith. 61mins), T Prydie, Steffan Jones, J Evans, P Price (A Coundley 72mins), Steve Jones (sin-bin. 34mins. S Parry 58mins), D Way (N Buck. 58mins), I Nimmo, A Jones, D Lydiate (J Groves. 2), L Evans (capt), T Faletau (T Brown. 69mins).

Edinburgh: G Tonks, T Brown, N De Luca, B Atiga, T Visser, H Leonard (D Fife. 64mins), R Rees (C Leck. 69mins), A Jacobsen (J Yapp. 64mins), A Titterrell (A Walker. 76mins), G Cross (L Niven. 61mins), R McAlpine (R Grant. 76mins), S Cox (capt. sin-bin. 38mins), S McInally, R Rennie (sin-bin. 41mins), N Talei.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)