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Lions repel Dragons fightback as both clubs progress in Challenge Cup

22 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Dragons v Emirates Lions, EPCR Challenge Cup David Davies / PA Images

The Lions fought off a second-half fightback from the Dragons in Caerphilly to hold on to a 30-25 victory in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as both clubs reached the last 16.

The visitors made a strong start to proceedings and took an early 3-0 lead courtesy of Jordan Hendrikse but Dragons had the first try of the game through Will Reed after they utilised a penalty advantage but missed the kick to keep the score at 5-3.

Following an even start, a first-half procession begun for the visitors as they scored 24 unanswered points heading into the break.

Quan Horn scored Lions’ first try before Edwin van de Merwe ran through for their second and the scoring for the first period was rounded off with three penalty conversions from Hendrikse which gave them a 27-5 lead at the break.

Another Hendrikse penalty further extended their advantage after the break, but the Dragons comeback started when Aki Seiuli forced himself over the whitewash after Brodie Coghlan was deemed just short.

Jordan Williams cruised over the line untouched to draw the hosts further back in the contest and Rio Dyer touched down in the corner to make it 30-22 with just under a quarter of the game to go.

Despite JJ Hanrahan’s late penalty to make it a five-point game, helping Dragons claim their two losing bonus points, Lions held on for their second win in Pool B.

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