The Dragons recorded their first victory since the Leinster game in January, with a hard fought win against the Italian team in the floodlights of Rodney Parade.
The crowd of circa 4.5K watched the Dragons attempts to introduce the much discussed higher tempo style of play against a stubborn and determined Zebre team. There indeed seemed to be a greater intent to spread the play, and a noticeable increase in pace, but due to the defensive efforts of the Italian team, the team seemed to become increasingly lateral as the game progressed.
Many of the more promising moves broke down with handling errors, and some misplaced off-loads, which illustrates the attempts Kinglsey Jones and the team are making in terms of changing the style of play that the Dragons will utilise through the coming season.
At the final whistle frustration seemed to be the over-riding emotion of the day, but the victory was nonetheless important, and the ability for the coaching staff to assess these changes to the team's tactics and style in another competitive fixture will hopefully pay dividends as the season progresses.
Ed Jackson stood out on the night, showing some good handling, and some direct running throughout the game, and deservedly picked up the MoM award at the end of the evening. In addition, Paddy Howard scored his second try in 2 games, to continue his excellent start to life in a Dragons jersey.
Newport Gwent Dragons: H Amos; A Warren, T Morgan, S Beard, P Howard; N Macleod, S Pretorius; T Davies, R Thomas, B Harris, N Crosswell, R Landman, L Evans (capt), N Cudd, E Jackson. Replacements: W Buckley, S Hobbs, L Fairbrother, M Screetch, J Thomas, C Davies, A O'Brien, GR Jones.