Challenge Cup: Dragons 25-27 Newcastle Falcons

Elliot Dee of Dragons is tackled by Ben Sowrey and Gary Graham
Ben Sowrey and Gary Graham halt Dragons hooker Elliott Dee
European Challenge Cup
Dragons (17) 25
Tries: Dee 2, Hewitt Cons: Henson 2 Pens: Henson 2
Newcastle Falcons (24) 27
Tries: Radwan, Kibirige, Graham Cons: Hodgson 3 Pens: Hodgson 2

Newcastle Falcons held out to win at Dragons and take a big step towards the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The visitors led 24-17 at the break and went on to complete the Pool 1 double in Newport.

Home hooker Elliott Dee scored two first-half tries in reply to Adam Radwan and Zach Kibirige before Gary Graham gave the visitors the edge.

Ashton Hewitt's try and Gavin Henson's boot gave Dragons hope, but Joel Hodgson's 66th-minute penalty won it.

Bordeaux-Begles' 36-27 win against winless Russian side Enisei-STM put them above Dragons, although the teams are tied on 11 points, seven shy of Newcastle.

Dean Richards' Falcons face Enisei in rounds five and six in January while Dragons and Bordeaux-Begles will also do battle on successive weekends, in all likelihood to determine who finishes runner-up to the Aviva Premiership club.

Dragons coach Bernard Jackman told BBC Radio Wales: "I thought we gifted them 24 points in the first half, and when you play with fire you get burnt.

"I think we backed ourselves to come back and I think we showed loads of courage, loads of heart, but sometimes when you are that generous you don't claw yourself back into the game."

Dragons: Amos; Rosser, Warren, Dixon, Hewitt, Henson, Babos; Hobbs, Dee, Fairbrother, J Davies, Hill (capt), Wainwright, Roach, Benjamin.

Replacements: Belcher, Ellis, T Davies, Landman, Sheekey, C Davies, Robson, Howard.

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Kibirige, Penny, Matavesi, Radwan; Hodgson Stuart; Lockwood; Sowrey, S Wilson, Witty, Robinson, M Wilson (captain), Graham, Burrows.

Replacements: Blamire, Vickers, Davison, Young, Uzokwe, Young, Willis, C Wilson.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

Touch judges: Ben Blain, Finlay Brown (Both Scotland)

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