Dragons rue Rosser’s late effort ruled out by TMO
JARED Rosser helped himself to a hat-trick of first-half tries, and then had a potential match winning fourth ruled out at the death, as the Dragons fell to another agonising defeat in Italy.
An 80th minute penalty kicked them to a 29-27 defeat in Treviso seven days earlier and this time it was a 71st minute try and conversion from Carlo Canna that cost them victory in L’Aquilla.
But head coach Bernard Jackman was full of praise for the way his young squad had stood up to the demands of two games on the road in Italy and is ready to throw the kitchen sink at the Scarlets in Judgement Day.
“It was disappointing to lose the last two games, but I still think we have made massive progress,” said Jackman.
“We’ve had 18-year-olds getting a taste of things, to try to accelerate their progress, but next season they will have to earn their places.”
With Hallam Amos and Angus O’Brien away with the Wales Sevens, Tyler Morgan and Jack Dixon injured and Gavin Henson also unavailable, the back division has had to be patched up, but the progression made by Rosser, Conor Edwards in the centre and Arwel Robson at fly-half has been hugely encouraging.
Results have been poor, but there is potential of the future.
It took just six minutes for No.9 Marcello Violi to get Zebre off the mark with their first try. Canna converted, but by the break the Dragons were 26-10 ahead.
Rosser ran in three tries and scrum-half Charlie Davies scored another to make it 21 unanswered points. The first score after the interval was going to be vital and Zebre got it through a Tommaso Castello try.
Canna’s conversion cut the gap to nine points, but Robson kicked a penalty to steady the nerves.
However when hooker Tommaso D’Apice powered over for another home try, closely followed by another from flanker Johan Meyer the gap was down to two points.
Canna then crashed over from two metres to level the scores, with the conversion a formality. Dragons looked to have salvaged the win in the dying minutes through Rosser, but referee George Clancy disallowed the try after consulting the TMO.