Match report: Dragons and Wasps share spoils
PA Sport
October 27, 2007

A single penalty each meant Newport-Gwent Dragons and London Wasps fought out a draw at Rodney Parade in their first EDF Energy Cup group encounter.

London Wasps needed a good, confidence-boosting victory in Wales after a dismal first six matches in the Guinness Premiership.

And, without England stars like Lawrence Dallaglio who was resting from World Cup exertions, they began reasonably well against a Dragons outfit who had their own Welsh internationals back in action.

Territorially, the Londoners had the advantage in the opening quarter-of-a-hour but could not turn the pressure into points.

After that initial burst from the Heineken Cup champions, the Dragons woke up slightly with a couple of attacks.

However, as the half-hour approached, both teams got bogged down in a mistake-laden stalemate.

And the Dragons did not do themselves any favours when captain Colin Charvis was sin-binned by referee Dean Richards for offside at a ruck.

Without Charvis, though, the Dragons put Wasps under pressure.

The English side escaped when a huge up-and-under from outside-half Ceri Sweeney landed on the Wasps try-line and was caught by full-back Mark Van Gisbergen. After they turned over an attacking ruck, the ball was cleared.

The Dragons had the momentum and Wasps also had a man sin-binned as replacement flanker Dan Leo prevented home scrum-half Wayne Evans from moving the ball quickly 15 metres from the line.

From there, Sweeney landed the resultant penalty to put the Welsh region in front.

Wasps nearly had the first try on the board after 50 minutes when a kick into the left corner was chased back by home wing Gareth Wyatt. He missed the ball over his own line, however, and centre Danny Cipriani touched down.

But the Dragons were awarded a penalty instead of the try being given as Wyatt was judged to have been pushed out of the way.

Wasps did, though, manage to draw level when Cipriani booted a 40-metre penalty.

Both teams went back into their shells and there was no spark to light up the game.

On the rare occasions there was any hint of an attack, it ended in a mistake and another scrum awarded by the referee.

And, with the other match between Gloucester and Newcastle in the group ending in a draw as well, it is as you were next weekend for the second round of cup fixtures.

Dragons (3) 3
Pen: Sweeney

London Wasps (0) 3
Pen: Cipriani

Dragons: M Thomas, G Wyatt, Gomer-Davies, Smith, Mustoe, Sweeney, Evans, Black, Jones, R Thomas, Charteris, Owen, Lydiate, Parks, Charvis (capt).

Replacements: Daly, Gustafson, Hall, Ringer, Emerick, A Thomas, Williams.

Wasps: Van Gisbergen, Doherty, Waters, Cipriani, Voyce, Flutey, Reddan (c); Payne, Ward, Adams, Skivington, Birkett, Hart, Rees, Haskell.

Replacements: Webber, Holford, Leo, Ellis, Amor, Walder, Hoadley.

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