United Rugby Championship: Dragons47-7 Zebre

Steff Hughes of Dragons runs in to score try
After making more than 100 appearances in Scarlets, Steff Hughes decided to leave Scarlets.
Dragons (26) 47
Tries: R Williams Richards 2, Hughes, O'Brien Cons: S Davies 5 Pens: S Davies 4
Zebre (7) 7
Try: Zambonin Con: Eden

Dragons defeated URC's Zebre 47-7 to earn their second bonus point home win under Dai Flanagan.

Rhodri Wilkins and David Richards both crossed the line for the first half, Steff Hughes, Angus O'Brien, and Richards adding second-half touchdowns.

Sam Davies scored 22 points for the Dragons, who won their third straight game. This was a win that beat their 2021/22 record.

Andrea Zambonin was a Parma sideliner.

Zebre lost six players to international calls while Dragons lost five to Ospreys's five.

The home side was in a confident mood, ball in hand, and registered two first-half try's. The first came after eight minutes. Williams ran an inside angle to score from 35m. Ross Moriarty and Aki Suli led a charge to the left.

Moriarty's close-range touchdown was ruled out, but Williams got an assist after 27 minutes. He kicked a Zebre pass downfield for Richards and won the race.

Davies converted both, and landed four penalties prior to the break. Captain Harrison Keddie elected to take all of the goal kicks available.

After 33 minutes of pressure, Zebre scored. Lock Zambonin was placed under the posts after Chris Cook's snipe at the 22. Tiff Eden, a fly-half from West Country, added the simple extras.

Dragons' gap advantage of 26-7 was decisive, and they quickly extended it. Aaron Wainwright made an impressive break to give Hughes the run-in, just like Moriarty.

O'Brien's try in 57 minutes secured the bonus point. He was also put through by Jared Rosser's middle break, giving the home team a rare opportunity to have fun in the last quarter.

Richards, who is usually a full back, was awarded the player of the match for his second corner finish after 65 minutes. However, he took a knock, and was forced off when he was tackled into a board advertising.

Zebre held firm in the final stages to avoid further damage, but Dragons can take heart from a great end to the first block league fixtures heading into the international break.

Dragons: Angus O'Brien, Steff Hughes and Max Clark; Jared Rosser, Sam Davies, Rhodri William; Aki Seiuli; Elliot Dee; Lloyd Fairbrother; Joe Davies; Sean Lonsdale; Aaron Wainwright; Harrison Keddie (capt), Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: James Benjamin, Rob Evans and Chris Coleman. Huw Taylor, Gonzalo Bertranou. JJ Hanrahan. Aneurin Owen.

Zebre: Richard Kriel; Latu Latunipulu, Tommaso Boni, Damiano Mazza, Jacopo Trulla; Tiff Eden, Chris Cook; Juan Pitinari, Jacques Du Toit (capt), Matteo Nocera, Andrea Zambonin, Leonard Krumov, Davide Ruggeri, Iacopo Bianchi, Taina Fox-Matamua.

Replacements: Marco Manfredi, Alessio Sanavia, Muhamed Hasa, Jan Uys, Giacomo Ferrari, Ratko Jelic, Geronimo Prisciantelli, Lorenzo Pani.

Referee: Ben Blain (SRU)

Assistant referees: Gareth Newman & Gwyn Morris (WRU)

TMO: Mike Adamson (SRU).

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