Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons beaten 30-25 by Connacht
|Dragons (11) 25|
|Try: Amos 2, Dixon Cons: Prydie 2 Pens: Prydie 2|
|Connacht (17) 30|
|Tries: Ronaldson, Masterson, Kearney Cons: Carty 2, Leader Pens: Carty, Leader 2|
Connacht withstood a brave effort from 14-man Newport Gwent Dragons to win at Rodney Parade.
Home captain Rynard Landman was sent off for elbowing Jack Carty in a first half where Craig Ronaldson and Eoghan Masterson scored Connacht's tries.
Hallam Amos crossed for the Dragons before the break, and Jack Dixon's try gave the hosts further hope.
But Mick Kearney's late score meant Amos' second could only secure a losing bonus point.
After a historic win at Leinster the previous weekend, the Dragons entered this match full of confidence.
But their hopes of a second successive victory were severely damaged by an opening quarter which saw them fall 17-3 behind and reduced to 14 men.
Connacht centre Ronaldson barged his way through for the game's opening try and, with the match just 15 minutes old, Dragons skipper Landman was sent off after catching Carty late with an elbow.
The visitors extended their lead as Masterson stretched over for a second score.
But the Dragons responded with a neatly-worked try for Wales international wing Amos, before fellow international Tom Prydie's penalty reduced their half-time deficit to 17-11.
Connacht put the hosts under pressure after the break and extended their lead with two penalties from Darragh Leader.
Dixon forced his way over to give the Dragons hope of a comeback, but Connacht ensured victory was theirs when Kearney charged down Amos' kick to score the visitors' third try.
Amos redeemed himself to some extent when he crossed for his second try with the final play of the game, securing a losing bonus point for the hosts.
Dragons: Jason Tovey; Tom Prydie, Jack Dixon, Ashley Smith, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, T. Rhys Thomas, Brok Harris, Andrew Coombs, Rynard Landman (Capt), James Thomas, Nic Cudd, Nick Crosswell.
Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Lloyd Fairbrother, Dan Way, Ian Gough, James Benjamin, Richie Rees, Carl Meyer, Matthew Pewtner.
Connacht: Darragh Leader; Danie Poolman, Dave McSharry, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, John Cooney, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (Capt), Jake Heenan, Eoghan Masterson.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Mick Kearney, George Naoupu, Ian Porter, Niyi Adeolokun, Tiernan O'Halloran.
Referee: Lloyd Linton (SRU)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas, Sean Brickell (WRU)
Citing commissioner: Ray Wilton (WRU)
TMO: Derek Bevan (WRU)