Pro14: Dragons 32-32 Ulster
|Pro14: Dragons v Ulster|
|Dragons (15) 32|
|Tries: Screech, Hewitt 2, Belcher, O'Brien Cons: Henson 2 Pen: Henson|
|Ulster (15) 32|
|Tries: Gilroy 2, penalty try, Marshall, Leali'ifano. Con: Leali'ifano Pen: Leali'ifano|
The Dragons and Ulster shared 10 tries in Newport as their thrilling Pro14 match ended in a draw.
The Dragons came from 12 points down to lead briefly, their tries coming from Ashton Hewitt (two), Matthew Screech, Liam Belcher and Angus O'Brien.
Christian Lealiifano crossed with the last move to level the scores, but missed the conversion.
The visitors' other scores came from Craig Gilroy (two), a penalty try, and Paul Marshall.
Ulster, who welcomed back Stuart McCloskey, Sean Reidy and replacement Rory Best from the Ireland squad, were handed an early advantage when Jack Dixon was yellow-carded for a tip-tackle.
Australia fly-half Lealiifano knocked over the simple penalty, and the visitors quickly took further advantage of their extra man when winger Gilroy went over from an overlap after nine minutes.
But the Dragons struck back in their first concerted attack when lock Screech was driven over from a line-out after 19 minutes, Gavin Henson converting and then slotting a penalty.
Dixon's grubber kick to the corner saw wing Hewitt dive in for the home side's second, before Ulster finally got their driving maul going and two infringements brought a penalty try, leaving an entertaining battle at 15-15 at half-time.
Ulster dominated the third quarter, with Marshall nipping over at the flag after Nick Timoney's touch-line gallop, and Gilroy's second on the overlap earning them a bonus point after just 55 minutes to seemingly make the result secure.
However, the Dragons came back to life with a driving maul finished off by Belcher, followed by a superb score for O'Brien after Henson rolled back the years with a trademark break, converting for good measure.
Hewitt flew in at the corner in the 78th minute following a Dixon break to send the home crowd wild, but Ulster hit back as Lealiifano crossed with the clock in the red.
His conversion attempt was a relatively simple affair, but he was off target and both teams collected three points at the end of an entertaining game.
Dragons: Angus O'Brien; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser; Gavin Henson, Dan Babos; Brok Harris, Liam Belcher, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright, Ollie Griffiths (capt), James Benjamin.
Replacements: Ellis Shipp, Gerard Ellis, Sam Hobbs, Rynard Landman, Ben Roach, Charlie Davies, Arwel Robson, Pat Howard.
Ulster: Charles Piutau; Craig Gilroy, Tommy Bowe, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik; Christian Leali'ifano (capt), Paul Marshall; Schalk van der Merwe, John Andrew, Ross Kane, Alan O'Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, Stuart Reidy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: Rory Best, Callum Black, Andrew Warwick, Matthew Dalton, Chris Henry, John Cooney, Peter Nelson, Andrew Trimble.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Mike English (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)