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Sgarbi’s late try seals thrilling win for Treviso

Fly-half Kris Burton racked up 18 points as Treviso claimed a fourth away RaboDirect PRO12 win of the season in a thrilling 33-32 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons.

Burton grabbed a fine try, one of four for the visitors, and added 13 points with his trusty boot as the Dragons slipped to a second straight defeat at Rodney Parade.

It was a night to remember for South African Treviso coach Franco Smith, who finished his playing career in Newport, as the visitors repeatedly bounced back after going behind to seal a valuable victory and join the hosts on 33 points in the RaboDirect PRO12 table.

The Dragons, looking to get back to winning ways after their disappointing home defeat to Connacht last time out, seized the upper hand early on with Lewis Robling landing a fourth-minute penalty.

Burton hit back for Treviso however, just two minutes later, but Dragons flyer Aled Brew, who will join Biarritz in the summer, raced home for his first try of the night inside a frenetic opening ten minutes.

Robling missed the conversion however and then missed a 13th-minute penalty which allowed Treviso to level things up at 8-8 when No.8 Alessandro Zanni powered his way over on 17.

With their tails up, Treviso, who arrived in Wales on the back of nine straight defeats in all competitions, took the lead six minutes later when Burton notched his second penalty of the game.

Robling’s mixed night then continued as he then landed another three-pointer to restore parity once again before missing with his next effort as Treviso refused to lie down.

Brew cruised over on 38 minutes as the Dragons again threatened to pull away, this time outside centre Adam Hughes converting, but just before the break Treviso full-back Luke McLean went over in the corner after Tommaso Iannone presented him with the easiest of opportunities.

Soon after the break Wales No.8 Toby Faletau finished off a fine, flowing Dragons move down the left with Hughes again adding the extras but once more Smith’s men did not wilt.

Just three minutes later Burton took his points tally to 13 with an excellent try but the Australia-born fly-half was errant with his conversion attempt, leaving Treviso trailing by two with 24 minutes to go.

But when Burton was on target with a drop goal, soon after flanker Lewis Evans was sent to the sin bin, the visitors seized a one-point lead and were within touching distance of victory.

The hosts had their chance when Treviso prop Michele Rizzo was pinged and followed Evans into the bin but Jason Tovey was off target with his penalty attempt before Italian centre Alberto Sgarbi scorched over with a breakaway try.

Burton added the extras but the drama was far from over as replacement Fabio Semenzato was also yellow carded, leaving Treviso with 13 men.

Hughes took matters into his own hands with a try and a conversion to take the Dragons to just 32-33 down with two minutes remaining but Treviso clung on for a famous bonus point victory victory.

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