Amlin Challenge Cup Pool Four: NG Dragons 23-13 Perpignan

Lewis Evans crosses for the opening try
Lewis Evans scored the home side's opening try

The Dragons secured their second successive victory in the Amlin Challenge Cup with an impressive win over Perpignan at Rodney Parade.

Lewis Evans and Adam Jones crossed for first half tries for the Dragons, who top Pool 4.

Jason Tovey contributed 13 points to the Dragons total, including two drop-goals.

Adrien Plante scored a consolation for Perpignan, while James Hook contributed eight points on his Welsh return.

Both sides went into the game having won their opening matches in the competition the previous weekend.

The Dragons started purposefully and tested the Perpignan defence during a scrappy opening opening 10 minutes.

And they were rewarded for their early pressure with the opening try of the game on 13 minutes.

Tovey released flanker Evans out wide, who charged through a gap to score from close range before the number 10 added the extra two points.

Tovey extended the home side's lead to 10-0 on 22 minutes, slotting over a straightforward penalty.

The Dragons did not have to wait too long for their second try and Wales hooker Lloyd Burns, making his first appearance since returning from World Cup duty, played a pivotal role.

James Hook
James Hook contributed eight points on his Welsh return

A charging run from Burns set up Adam Jones who rolled over for the try, which Tovey successfully converted.

Perpignan had to wait until the 34th minute for their first points of the game with James Hook successful with a simple penalty.

Having enjoyed the majority and the possession during the first half, the Dragons fully deserved their 17-3 interval lead.

Hook scored the first points of the second half with a long range penalty which doubled his side's score.

After a subdued first half, Hook was settling into the game but the former Osprey missed his third penalty attempt of the evening.

His opposite number Tovey added to his and his side's tally on 56 minutes when he added a further three points with a drop-goal.

Five minutes later Tovey added a second drop goal from a similar position after some patient play by the Dragons.

Perpignan were down to 14 men on 63 minutes after Florian Cazenave was shown a yellow card following an infringement at a ruck.

Tovey failed with the resultant penalty, his first failure of the evening before he missed another attempt four minutes later.

The Dragons were forced to play out the final nine minutes a man short after former Wales international Gavin Thomas was also sin-binned.

In the final minute wing Plante burst through the middle for a consolation try, which was converted by Hook.

But by then the Dragons had done enough to secure their second win of the competition.

Team news

Newport Gwent Dragons: M Thomas, Chavhanga, Hughes, A Smith, Brew, Tovey, W Evans, N Williams, Burns, Way, A Jones, Sidoli, L Evans, G Thomas, Faletau. Replacements: Buckley for Burns (73), Buck for Way (58), Morgan for Sidoli (73). Not Used: Price, Coombs, Bedford, Robling, S Jones.

Sin Bin: G. Thomas (72).

Perpignan: Porical, Plante, Mermoz, Hume, Candelon, Hook, Cazenave, Freshwater, Geli, Bourrust, Olibeau, Tchale-Watchou, Le Corvec, Perez, Tonita. Replacements: Coetzee for Mermoz (73), Laharrague for Hume (53), Guirado for Geli (48), Mas for Bourrust (48), Mele for Le Corvec (66), Britz for Tonita (51). Not Used: Schuster, Guiry.

Sin Bin: Cazenave (64).

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)