Warlow takes Dragons for a stroll

N-G Dragons 33 Worcester 10
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The Independent Online

Worcester could have no complaints about this defeat. Neither ereas at full strength, but the Dragons were good value for their win.

Their fly-half Craig Warlow succeeded with each of his seven kicks at goal - three conversions and four penalties. The Dragons led by 10 points at half time, but their superiority did not come without a price as the wing Gareth Wyatt, the Heineken Cup's leading try-scorer this season, suffered a suspected dislocated elbow at the end of the half.

It took the full 10-minute break for Wyatt to be strapped to a stretcher, and as he was carried away the teams re-emerged from their dressing rooms. Such injuries often have a negative impact on the mindset of team-mates, but having been out of sight of Wyatt's painful reminder of the game's dangers, the Dragons began the second half as the started the first - firmly in the ascendancy in terms of territory, but not as productive when it came to putting points on the board.

The Dragons pack were rampant in the opening quarter, shunting their opponents back regularly, but that should have been no surprise with most of Worcester's first team sitting out the contest.

The home prop Adam Black drove over for the first try after six minutes and Warlow added the conversion and a penalty five minutes later. The Scottish flanker Andrew Hall was next to cross the line, his score also coming from close range. Warlow again converted.

However, the competitive instincts Worcester have shown in their time in English rugby's top flight were plain to see in the manner of their fightback. James Brown kicked a penalty on his side's first visit to home territory after 24 minutes and as the 30-minute mark loomed the Tongan wing Aisea Havili made an 80-metre dash down the right for a try that the fly-half converted.

Warlow ensured the Dragons led comfortably at half time with his second penalty, five minutes before the whistle. The fly-half added two more penalties after the break and converted his side's 84th-minute penalty try after the visitors collapsed a close-range scrum.

Newport Gwent Dragons: L Hinton (A Smith, 70); G Wyatt (B Breeze, 40), S Tuipulotu, S Williams (J Bryant, 75), R Fussell; C Warlow, G Cooper; A Black (D Maddocks, 71), S Jones (R Thomas, 51), G Robinson (A Brown, 53), B Griffiths (J Forster, 65), I Gough, A Hall, R Bryan (capt), J Ringer.

Worcester: J Lennard (T Delport, 67); A Havili (Delport, 38-40), D Rasmussen (capt), M Tucker (S Whatling, 60), U Oduoza; J Brown, M Powell; M Mullan, G Hickie, M McDonald (C Black, 3-10; & 40), T Collier (R Blaze, 50), E O'Donaghue, N Mason, K Horstmann, J Taumoheloa (T Harding, 50).

Referee: N Ballard (Cardiff; G Simmonds, 55)

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