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Dragons RFC will hope home support will lift them to a first EPCR Challenge Cup win of the season when they welcome Section Paloise on Saturday.
The Welsh region battled to a 31-31 draw with Emirates Lions in Johannesburg last week, picking up three points in the process, but will want to boost their Pool B haul at Rodney Parade.
Pau went down 21-16 at home to Toyota Cheetahs in Round 2 and a victory will be equally important to keep their qualification hopes alive.
The Pool B match kicks off at 5.30pm at Rodney Parade, Newport, and can be watched on S4C, beIN SPORTS, and FloRugby.
Big @bundeeaki12 is back for @connachtrugby 💪
While Jack Dempsey returns for @GlasgowWarriors and Pieter Jansen van Vuren for @LionsRugbyCo 🙌
R2 #ChallengeCupRugby Friday night team news ➡️ https://t.co/xoJjWma0Bu pic.twitter.com/SbLSa2mBeL
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 15, 2022
Dragons RFC head coach Dai Flanagan: “We’re almost there, but there’s nothing like playing at home in front of our fans. It’s important we back it up when we get home now when we return.”
- Dragons finished Round 1 with the highest rate of gainline success in the competition (63 per cent).
- Sam Davies scored the most points in Round 1, with a try, four conversions and a penalty, totalling 16 points. He didn’t miss a single kick at goal.
- Ross Moriarty made more metres than any other player last weekend (149).
- Section Paloise won just four turnovers last weekend – fewer than any other team.
- They finished Round 1 with a competition-high tackle success rate of 96 per cent.
- They made the joint-highest number of kicks in play (36, the same as the Newcastle Falcons) and the most kicking metres (1,270).
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Dragons RFC were beaten 27-21 by Section Paloise in a thrilling EPCR Challenge Cup contest at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
Pau kept their qualification hopes alive with the victory, having lost to Toyota Cheetahs in Round 1, while defeat for Dragons leaves them winless from their opening two games.
Dragons started the brighter, with Sam Davies kicking three penalties in reply to one from Pau’s Clovis Lebail.
Bradley Roberts got Dragons’ first try of the evening, but the visitors came roaring back in the last minutes of the half, with a try from Thomas Carol and a late penalty taking them into the break just one point adrift.
And despite Roberts crossing for another on the hour mark, Pau would take the lead for the first time with less than 15 minutes to go, wing Eoghan Barrett crossing the line in a crucial moment for the visitors.
In the final play of the game, Dragons thought Max Clark had scored a try that would have brought them back within one point, with a conversion opportunity to follow in front of the posts – but after lengthy deliberation, the referee adjudged it as short of the line.
The two sides go head-to-head again in Round 3 as Dragons head to the Stade du Hameau on January 13.
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