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Dragons end unwanted run of results

Newport Gwent Dragons ended their poor run in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a home win over a young Munster side.

Coach Rod Penney retained just three players from last weekend’s narrow loss to Leinster and the young Munster reinforcements were second best for large periods, allowing the Dragons to end an unwanted four-game losing streak in the competition as they won 30-24.

Prydie was one of the stars of the show, adding 17 with the boot and was ably backed up by Steffan Jones, who scored eight, including a first-half try.

Munster refused to throw in the towel after the break and produced a much-improved display as Ronan O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Johne Murphy all touched down to add to Paddy Butler’s first-half try but it wasn’t enough for the Heineken Cup semi-finalists.

Prydie put the Dragons ahead with a penalty after 14 minutes but the lead was to be short-lived as Munster replied after 17 minutes as Butler went over for a try – Ian Keatley missing the conversion.

Just a minute later Prydie restored the Dragons lead with a penalty, before the home side extended their advantage after Jones went over for a score – again Prydie again the extras for a 13-5 lead.

Things got even better for the Dragons before the break as Prydie knocked over another penalty on 31 minutes after Butler was sent to the sin bin, before Jones added a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to give the home side a convincing 19-5 lead at the break.

Munster refused to throw in the towel after the break and despite a host of early replacements; it did little to alter the flow of the game as Prydie stretched the Dragons lead even further with a 48th minute penalty.

O’Mahony dragged Munster kicking and screaming back into the game as he went over for a score on 58 minutes but Keatley missed the conversion.

Munster throw everything at the Dragons in the last quarter as Stander went over for a try on 64 minutes, with Keatley adding the extras to bring the Irish side back to within five points.  

And Munster got their noses in front with eight minutes to go, most unexpectedly as Murphy levelled the scores, before Keatley put them ahead with the conversion.

The Dragons refused to lie down though as Ross Wardle scored an excellent try three minutes later but the tension remained as Prydie missed the conversion to leave the home side three points ahead.  

However, the gulf in class eventually told, particularly in the back-row where Welsh internationals Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate bossed the breakdown.  

And Prydie added a late penalty to take the tension out of the game and hand the Dragons a deserved but nervy 30-24 win.

The defeat was furtherevidence of the Munstermen's sketchy domestic form, with their only win over a Welsh region since September being a 24-18 over Cardiff Blues at The Arms Park in November.

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