Connacht 19 Newport-Gwent Dragons 14
Connacht chalked up their third win over Welsh opposition in the space of seven weeks, as a Matt Mostyn try and Paul Warwick’s trusted boot saw off the Dragons 19-14 at the Sportsground.
Michael Bradley’s side added the Newport-Gwent scalp to recent victories over the Scarlets and the table-topping Ospreys.
And Connacht held Chris Anderson’s side – missing seven internationals - scoreless in the second half.
Gareth Baber’s try and a trio of Craig Warlow penalties before the break looked to have given the visitors the impetus.
But determined Connacht defence kept their line intact in the closing stages, and saw the Dragons fall to their third successive Celtic League loss – a first in their short history.
Former Newport wing Mostyn crossed after some poor defending on 10 minutes to claim his third league try of the season and settle the home side.
Wales full-back Kevin Morgan was caught out on a drift defence and Mostyn, sent through after Darren Yapp’s initial break, got in for the touch down.
Warwick converted and added a neat penalty on the quarter-hour to press home the Irish province’s advantage at 10-3.
Warlow had kicked the visitors in front after three minutes and the former Wales ‘A’ fly-half drew his side back within one point with penalty efforts on 18 and 26 minutes.
Warlow failed to fire in the loose in the opening period, and although skewing two further kicks wide – a penalty shot and the conversion of Baber’s try, the Dragons still entered the second half 14-13 up.
A blindside snipe off a stalled maul saw scrum half Baber race over from 10 metres out to put the Dragons back in front.
Although Warwick pinged over an opportunist drop goal on 39 minutes, Baber’s first try of the campaign should have inspired Anderson’s charges – who welcome Perpignan to Rodney Parade in six days’ time – but centre Steve Winn’s yellow card for not rolling away in the tackle saw Connacht back in control.
Warwick’s third penalty on the hour and a 30-metre strike on 75 minutes saw Connacht to a morale-boosting win ahead of Montpellier’s Challenge Cup visit next Saturday.