Moment of magic by Atkins sees off Dragons

Darren Atkins
Darren Atkins
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Yorkshire Carnegie ensured a maximum of 10 points in their back-to-back games against the Dragons Premiership Select after running in four tries against the Welsh regional side in the 20-17 win at Ystrad Mynach.

A week earlier, Carnegie had won out 43-22 in the first meeting in Yorkshire but they were made to work much harder for the bonus-point win on their visit to South Wales.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Head coach James Lowes made six change to that side with the experienced Tom Casson returning at centre before he was forced off in the second half while youngsters Michael Waters, Sam Wolstenholme, Jordan Poole, Trystan Davies and Elliot Ward all came in.

The home side had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead with a converted try.

Yorkshire were guilty of allowing themselves to get drawn into a scrap when they needed to show a cool head to execute the opportunities they created.

The best chance came when Jordan Poole went close only to be penalised by the referee for a double movement.

James Lowes

James Lowes

To increase the frustration, the Dragons doubled their lead just before half-time. Centre Jarryd Sage crossed for the score and fly-half Angus O’Brien added the conversion to make it 14-0 at the break.

Carnegie needed to find a response after the break and they did from short range after a line out was collected and driven over. Former Llanelli forward Trystan Lloyd was the man to finish off the move. Harry Davey missed the conversion attempt but Carnegie were back in the game at 14-5.

The Dragons were then reduced to 14 men when second row Josh Skinner was sin- binned for a high tackle and the deficit was cut further with a well taken try from Matt Smith following great organisation from the visitors. The conversion was missed again but the gap was now 14-10 after 55 minutes.

Five minutes later, Carnegie took the lead for the first time in the game following a fine break by winger Michael Waters. The 21-year-old Leeds Beckett student burst up field before finding England Under-18 scrum- half Oliver Fox, who finished off the third try.

Casson was then forced off to be replaced by back row Jonny Teague and the side was re-jigged so skipper Josh Bainbridge moved to centre on his 50th appearance for the club.

The Dragons managed to get back in front with a penalty after 65 minutes from O’Brien before a brilliant try from Darren Atkins, in only his third appearance for the club since joining from Bath Rugby, as he returned the ball from eighty metres out to jink his way through the home defence to score. The conversion attempt was missed again to set up a tense final seven minutes. Yorkshire were reduced to 14 men in the final minutes when hooker Harry Newborn was sin-binned and the game finished with uncontested scrums with no front row replacements available and Carnegie held on to win.