A second-string Leinster side lost 18-9 to Newport Gwent Dragons in a largely forgettable Magners League game.

With the Heineken Cup final coming up, Michael Cheika opted not to risk many of his star players and instead gave a competitive run-out to several promising youngsters.

However, the contest was as good as over by half-time when the Dragons took advantage of two sin-bins to score two tries at Rodney Parade.

The visitors got off to a bright start with Fergus McFadden - surely a future Ireland international - kicking a penalty on 8 minutes. It meant even more when Jason Tovey missed two penalty kicks in a row for the home side.

It became clear from the early exchanges that this was going to be a game with a very high error count by the end. Both teams were guilty of sloppy passing, half-hearted tackling, and making baffling decisions.

Sean O'Brien and McFadden were both sent to the sin bin for breaches of discipline and the Dragons edged in front around that point.

Tovey was awarded a penalty try on the half-hour mark when McFadden was adjudged to have blocked his path to a clear try. He stepped up and got the conversion himself.

Then Martyn Thomas got a second try for the hosts when they stole the ball from a Leinster line-out - or was it gifted to them? - and spread play quickly out to Thomas, who went over the line in the top corner.

McFadden came back from the bin to add a penalty just before the break and he was successful again on 65 minutes with another place kick before his luck ran out three minutes after that.

The second-half was very stop-start, mainly because of the numerous errors, but it was the Dragons who edged further ahead with two penalty kicks from James Arlidge.

Overall it was a tame ending to the Magners League campaign for Leinster, while Dragons have a lot of work to do in their recruitment of new players if they are to improve next season.

Dragons: Martyn Thomas; Gareth Wyatt, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Phil Dollman, Richard Fussell; Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans; Adam Black, Tom Willis (capt), Rhys Thomas, Andrew Hall, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Lewis Evans, Craig Hill.

Replacements: Steve Jones, Nigel Hall, Huw Gustafson, Grant Webb, Aled Brew, James Arlidge, Alex Walker.

Leinster: Girvan Dempsey; Simon Keogh, Fergus McFadden, Kyle Tonetti, Rob Kearney; Ian McKinley, Chris Keane; Ronan McCormack, John Fogarty, Stephen Knoop; Trevor Hogan, Devin Toner; Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O'Brien, Stephen Keogh (capt).

Replacements: Brian Blaney, Jamie Hagan, Cameron Jowitt, Paul Ryan, Paul O'Donohoe, Ian Madigan, David Kearney.

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