United Rugby Championship: Dragons 11-21 Lions

Dragons: (11) 11
Try itDyer PensReed 2
Lions: (7) 21
Try it: Van der Merwe, Venter, Dreyer; Cons: Hendrikse 3

Dragons' attempts to secure the home United Rugby Championship win at the end of the season fell flat as they were defeated 21-11 by Lions.

The Welsh region won a well-deserved lead when Rio Dyer beat Jordan Hendrikse's footwork for a score in corner.

Before Will Reed penalties and Edwill van der Merwe gave Dragons a narrow lead at half-time, Edwill van der Merwe struck back.

It was only one-way traffic, with Ruan Venter and Ruan Dreyer crossing the line to win for Lions.

The game began in a lively manner, with Dragons gaining the majority of possession. Dyer was close to scoring, but Quan Horn's cover tackle forced the Dragons to touch.

After South Africa's defensive line-out was a disaster, the Dragons were awarded a pass away from a try. However, Stean Pienaar, a Lions wing, jumped up to intercept.

The Lions wing was left with no cover and the pitch was long. However, he couldn't run fast enough to avoid the back-tracking Jared Rosser.

After 22 minutes, Dragons lock Joe Maksymiw intercepted an offensive pass deep inside Lions territory, before Dyer passed to Dyer. Dyer won with two nice side-steps and landed out wide.

The lead was not to last as Lions struck back with their own try through Van der Merwe. He received a nice inside pass from Hendrikse who also converted the conversion to make it 7-5.

Three minutes later, the Welsh region took a lead and Reed kicked a penalty. The ball had been ruled to have been deliberately hit by Lions.

After the Lions defenders failed to roll away at the breakdown, a second Reed penalty was added on the stroke of halftime. This increased the Dragons' lead by four points.

Dragons wing Rio Dyer scores the games opening try
Rio Dyer's third attempt in the United Rugby Championship campaign was his first-half score.

The Lions began the second half stronger and scored their second attempt five minutes later.

After Morne van der Berg had broken a tackle to get into Dragons territory the Lions forwards pushed their way closer to the defense, which was finally unlocked by Venter's brilliant pass to Van der Berg, who crossed the posts.

The South Africans extended their lead at 52 minutes when Dreyer, a veteran prop and after more excellent work from his pack, forced his way across from a metre off the line.

Dragons thought that they could get back in the contest when Josh Lewis intercepted Hendrikse’s pass. He raced towards the try line but Horn's last ditch tackle forced a knock on.

The Dragons' disappointing campaign ended with this loss. They managed one draw at Rodney Parade, and no wins.

The Welsh region finishes the inaugural URC campaign 15th, one place above Zebre from Italy who support the table.

They finished third in the URC standings, a lot behind the three South African sides that won Victory for Lions.

Dragons:Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer. Josh Lewis. Jared Rosser. Will Reed. Gonzalo Bertranou. Aki seiuli. Joe Maksymiw. Joe. Mesake Doge. Joe. Huw Taylor. Ben Fry. Taine basham. Ollie Griffiths. (capt.

Replacements:Taylor Davies, Lloyd Fairbrother and Chris Coleman.

Lions: Quan Horn; Stean Pienaar, Henco van Wyk, Matt More, Edwill van der Merwe; Jordan Hendrikse, Morne van den Berg; JP Smith, Jaco Visagie, Ruan Dreyer, Ruan Venter, Reinhard Nothnagel (capt), Sibusiso Sangweni,Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn.

Replacements: PJ Botha, Sti Sithole, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Ruben Schoeman, Jarod Cairns, Andre Warner, Manuel Rass, Tiaan Swanepoel.

Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU)

Assistant referees: Dewi Phillips & John Darcy (WRU)

TMO: Ian Davies (WRU).

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