Grit and determination saw Edinburgh Rugby battle for their first away win of the season with a 23-19 victory over the Dragons at Rodney Parade tonight.
Prop Willem Nel and centre Matt Scott crossed the whitewash for the visitors in either half, while full-back Jack Cuthbert kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout to secure the teams' first win in Newport since 2006.
Dragons’ Ross Wardle's late try turned up the heat before a yellow card meant Edinburgh had to hold out for the final ten minutes with 14 men, with the defining moment coming from the seven-man pack, who turned over a five metre scrum to end the match.
The hosts carved out the brighter start as number 8 Taulupe Faletau's offload set Hallam Amos free.
The winger pinned his ears back to round the visiting backline only for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to snag him and force a knock-on with a try-saving tackle on his five metre line.
The visitors continued to soak up pressure deep in their own 22 until hooked Ross Ford was penalised in the maul.
Tovey was on target with the simple penalty after 14 minutes to open the scoring, before doubling the his side’s lead with another penalty shortly after (6-0).
However full-back Cuthbert hit back almost immediately, bisecting the posts with a 35-metre penalty.
His three-pointer appeared to inspire the attacking efforts of the men in white, who subsequently piled forward.
Scott broke free and offloaded to centre partner Andries Strauss, who carried up to the Dragons’ 5m line where he was brought down, with Nel on hand to pick up and drive over for his fourth try of the season.
Cuthbert added the extras to put his side in front but it was Tovey who would have the last say of the half, sending over a third penalty to ensure Dragons trailed by just one point at the break.
Tovey's fourth penalty gave the Dragons a short-lived lead just eight minutes after the restart, before a weaving run from Scott produced the club’s second score.
Almost out of nothing the Scotland internationalist slipped onto a reverse pass from Harry Leonard to sprint 30 metres in to score under the posts and, after the TMO confirmed his grounding and his route, Cuthbert converted (12-17).
A Cuthbert penalty on 67 minutes opened up a crucial eight-point lead and, when Lewis Evans was guilty of obstruction soon after, the towering full-back split the posts once again (12-23).
But, as Dragons battled back, Edinburgh lock Izak van der Westhuizen was sent to the sin bin and the hosts immediately capitalised; Wayne Evans' pass finding Wardle to dive over, with Tovey converting (19-23).
With that, and less than ten minutes remaining, the Dragons' tails were up and the chips were well and truly down.
Wardle's kick through piled the pressure on to Edinburgh’s last line of defence, who secured the ball but conceded a five-metre scrum.
A series of Dragons penalties ate up the final two minutes as a seven-man Edinburgh pack strived to hold its own.
Then, when the clock went red, one giant push forced the hosts off their feet and yielded a penalty to end the match.
Dragons: Dan Evans, Tom Prydie, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Duncan Bell, Andrew Coombs (c), Matthew Screech, Jevon Groves, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau. Substitutes: Sam Parry on for Dee (67'), Owen Evans, Bruce Douglas on for Bell (67'), Cory Hill on for Screech (64'), Netani Talei on for Groves (70'), Wayne Evans on for Rees (67'), Ross Wardle, Will Harries on for Evans (64').
Edinburgh Rugby: Jack Cuthbert; Tom Brown, Matt Scott, Andries Strauss, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Harry Leonard, Grayson Hart; Alasdair Dikcinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen, Mike Coman CAPTAIN, Cornell Du Preez, David Denton. Substitutes: James Hilterbrand on for Ford (21'), Wicus Blaauw, Simon Berghan, Ollie Atkins, Roddy Grant, Sean Kennedy on for Hart (71'), Carl Bezuidenhout, Sam Beard on for Strauss (65').
|4||Andrew Coombs (C)|