Match Centre: Dragons 20-30 Connacht

Connacht have registered their sixth win
Connacht have registered their sixth win

Dragons 20-30 Connacht, Rodney Parade

Connacht successfully overcame a hat-trick from Richard Hibbard as they sealed a 30-20 win in their Pro14 encounter at Rodney Parade.

The win means Connacht have consolidated their second place in Conference B with 32 points while Dragons are at fifth place in Conference A.

Sam Davies started the proceedings with a third minute penalty kick before the Irish side responded back with the opening try of the game. A well-timed cross kick from Jack Carty was seized by Matt Healy on his way over the line.

By the 15th minute, Connacht doubled their tally with Shane Delahunt broke in the defence of Dragons before he offloaded to Abraham Papali'i for the second try.

Dragons seized the momentum with Hibbard's first that came in the 22nd minute at the back of an attacking line out but Davies' conversion went wide. Connacht suffered a setback with Finlay Bealham yellow carded in the 32nd minute for an off side and Hibbard went over the line for the second time making it 13-10.

Despite being down by one player, Carty with a penalty kick at the stroke of half-time ensured the teams were levelled at the end of the opening half.

The start of the second half saw Caolin Blade dotting down for the visitors but his efforts were negated as Hibbard completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute.

The teams were hardly separated as the game entered the final quarter and it is when Tom Daly went past a couple of Dragons defenders to help them claim the bonus point while Carty followed with the conversion and a drop goal to complete the 10-point victory.

Team line-up:

Dragons: Jordan Williams; Owen Jenkins, Jack Dixon, Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams; Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ben Carter, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Ben Fry, Harrison Keddie.

Reserves: Ellis Shipp, Greg Bateman, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Lewis Evans, Luke Baldwin, Josh Lewis, Aneurin Owen.

Connacht: John Porch; Peter Sullivan, Tom Daly, Peter Robb, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Niall Murray, Gavin Thornbury, Paul Boyle, Conor Oliver, Abraham Papali'i.

Reserves: Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, Eoghan Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Sean O'Brien, Alex Wootton.