Pro12: Newport Gwent Dragons 12-19 Ulster
|Newport Gwent Dragons (9) 12|
|Pens: D Jones 3, Tovey|
|Ulster (6) 19|
|Try: Marshall Con: Jackson Pens: Jackson 4|
Ulster battled back for a hard-fought Pro12 win over Newport Gwent Dragons having trailed by nine points.
Ulster scrum-half Paul Marshall went over from close range after the break for the game's only try, while Paddy Jackson kicked 14 points.
Dragons' Dorian Jones sent three penalties over and Jason Tovey also successfully kicked one for the hosts.
But Ulster's defence held firm despite Dragons' frantic late efforts to break through.
That left Ulster as the first visiting team to have beaten the Welsh region at Rodney Parade this season as they rose to fifth in the Pro12 table with a fourth win of the season.
Dragons gave a first Pro12 start to Wales Under-20 flanker Ollie Griffiths among five changes from their defeat at Scarlets.
Ulster's new director of rugby Les Kiss made seven changes from the reverse at Munster, as he prepared his squad for their European Cup opener in Oyonnax on Saturday 14 November.
Hooker Elliot Dee was held up close to the line early on and Jones kicked over a simple penalty to open the scoring.
Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey was yellow-carded for obstruction and Jones was twice on target again - after 16 and 20 minutes - to give Dragons a 9-0 lead.
But Jackson landed two kicks of his own to make it 9-6 to Ulster at half-time.
The visitors started the second half strongly with McCloskey judged by video referee Tim Hayes to have lost the ball just short of the line. However, in the same passage of play home skipper Rynard Landman killed the ball and was sin-binned.
Marshall then scampered through a gaping hole in the Dragons' defence from a ruck after 50 minutes, to score his try, with Jackson adding an easy two points.
Captain Rory Best and South African scrum-half Ruan Pienaar entered the action late in the third quarter, but Best was soon sin-binned for a offence at the ruck.
Jones duly kicked his fourth goal, but Jackson replied after 68 and 71 minutes to give Ulster a little breathing space.
Landman was held up on the line in the 79th minute and Ulster's defence held firm, leaving the home side with a consolation losing bonus point.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Carl Meyer; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Nick Scott; Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius; Boris Stankovich, Elliot Dee, Shaun Knight; Cory Hill, Rynard Landman (capt); Ed Jackson, Ollie Griffiths, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Brok Harris, Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans, Charlie Davies, Jason Tovey, Ross Wardle.
Ulster: Peter Nelson; Rory Scholes, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Sam Arnold; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Kyle McCall, Rob Herring (captain), Wiehahn Herbst; Dan Tuohy, Franco van der Merwe; Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Stephen Mulholland.
Replacements: Rory Best, Ricky Lutton, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Sean Reidy, Ruan Pienaar, Ian Humphreys, Craig Gilroy.
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Simon Rees (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Aurwel Morgan (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)