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Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons knocked English Premiership side Gloucester out of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a 21-23 victory at Kingsholm,
A late Charlie Davies try saw Newport Gwent Dragons defeat holders Gloucester to book a place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Davies touched down three minutes from time after Dorian Jones kicked 15 points. And the shock win at Kingsholm set up a semi-final clash with Montpellier later this month.
Ben Morgan and Steve McColl both crossed for Gloucester but it was not enough to save the reining champions’ 15-game winning run in the tournament.
It is the second year in a row the Welsh club will feature in the last four of the Challenge Cup and they deserved the win after leading 12-11 at half-time thanks to the boot of Jones.
The fly-half handed Dragons an early lead with the first of four penalties but Gloucester swiftly recovered with the game’s first try.
Mark Atkinson twice broke through before Matt Kvesic’s off-load handed Morgan a clear run to the corner on 14 minutes. Laidlaw missed the conversion but traded kicks with Jones to lead 8-6.
Dragons, who travelled without director of rugby Lyn Jones due to illness, then lost both half-backs in the space of three minutes.
Outside-half Jones briefly left the field after a head injury and scrum-half Sarel Pretorious was binned on 22 minutes for a dangerous tackle.
But it was Gloucester’s indiscipline that proved costly despite Laidlaw extending the lead to 11-6. Jones returned to the pitch but sliced a long-range effort and saw a second hit the post.
However Gloucester captain Laidlaw was binned for infringing at a ruck and successful kicks allowed Dragons to come from behind to lead at the break.
Pretorious capitalised on the absence of opposite number Laidlaw and immediately put Dragons on the front foot.
Wales internationals Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan followed and Jones kicked a fifth penalty before Dragons full-back Carl Mayer landed a long-range kick on 55 minutes.
Dragons looked to have a strangle-hold on the game until a fortunate break allowed Gloucester to level the scores on 64 minutes.
James Hook lost control but the deflection bounced over the head of Pretorious and into the hands of McColl for an easy finish under the posts. Laidlaw converted to set up a tense final 16 minutes.
Jones scuffed a drop goal and when Laidlaw kicked a further penalty, Gloucester looked to be heading through.
Dragons mounted a final surge and were rewarded for turning down the chance to take the game to extra time when they kicked a penalty into touch.
Matthew Screech took the lineout five metres out, Dragons added extra men to the drive before replacement scrum-half Davies scampered over. Jones missed the conversion from out wide but their defence held out for an impressive win.
Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons) was named European Rugby Challenge Cup man of the match.
Final Score Gloucester 21 (11) NG Dragons 23 (12)
Tries – Morgan, McColl
Pen – Laidlaw (3)
Con – Laidlaw
Tries – Davies
Pen – Jones (5), Meyer
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France),
Assistant ref: Dudley Phillips (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Laurent Cardona (France),
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France),
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Scotland)
Gloucester Rugby: Tom Marshall; Rob Cook, Henry Trinder, Mark Atkinson, Stevie McColl; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw (c); Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Mariano Galarza, Sione Kalafamoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan
Replacements: Darren Dawiduik, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Elliot Stooke, Gareth Evans, Callum Braley, Ollie Thorley, Jacob Rowan
Newport Gwent Dragons: Carl Meyer; Adam Hughes, Tyler Morgan, Adam Warren, Hallam Amos; Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, Rynard Landman, Nick Crosswell, Lewis Evans (c), Nic Cudd, Toby Faletau
Replacements: Rhys Buckley, Boris Stankovich, Shaun Knight, Matthew Screech, Ed Jackson, Charlie Davies, Angus O’Brien, Rhys Jones
With thanks to EPCRugby
Gloucester club captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the English Premiership Rugby club at the end of the season to join French Top 14 club Clermont. Scotland captain Laidlaw joined...
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