Lyn's tribute to Dragons as they spoil All Blacks' welcome party; PAU ............................... 17 N-G DRAGONS............ 34.
A faultless display from the Rodney Parade region secured a bonus-point 34-17 triumph to put one foot in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals for a second successive season.
An expectant crowd at Stade du Hameau turned out in their droves to see double Rugby World Cup winners Colin Slade and Conrad Smith turn on the style.
But their welcome party was wrecked by the Dragons, who claimed another French double, a year on from beating Stade Francais in backto-back fixtures. "We're absolutely delighted, it was an error free performance from us tonight and it was as good as you get," said Jones.
"We were up against a team full of good individuals, but we were far better as a team tonight and we deserved to come away with the spoils and a bonus-point.
"They put all the bug guns in, but we kept Colin Slade quiet tonight, took their threats away and made us play, and they couldn't handle us."
Cory Hill knocked the voice out of the raucous crowd with a solo try after just five minutes.
The ball was recycled well after a quick-tap by Sarel Pretorious, and Hill spotted a gap to break clear before he handed off a covering defender to score.
Some heavy Dragons' pressure forced Pau to go into self destruct and a comedy of errors allowed Jason Tovey to extend the lead with a penalty before Pretorious found Hewitt, who raced past Slade to score.
A dream first-half was complete when Tovey scooped up a loose Pau offload to race 35 metres and score for a 24-0 half-time lead.
It was job done when Carl Meyer collected Tovey's cross-field kick to score before a late Pau revival gave the final score a flattering 34-17 look.
The Dragons have only won three times in the Guinness Pro12 this season, but top pool two with three wins from four and Jones was left scratching his head as to why they cannot replicate their European form.
He said: "I haven't got a clue why we play so well in this competition. It may be that teams don't know each other that well, whereas in the Pro12 we play against each other every year.
"We come into this competition and play against the best players, and we are just so much more positive, I really don't know why we can't be like that in the league.
"We enjoy the tournament and last year was a positive experience for every one of these players."
Tovey delivered a virtuoso performance to rack-up 19 points with a try, a penalty, a drop goal and four conversions, and Jones hailed his in-form fly-half.
He said: "Jason Tovey hadn't played for a while, he took his opportunities well and landed his first drop kick for the Dragons since 2013. He scored a great 40-metre try and kicked well out of hand."
Pau: D Traille, S Bobo (W Votu), J Fumat (captain, C Smith 64), J Vatubua, M Ratuvou, C Slade, T Lacrampe (T Daubagna 55), J Hurou (J Jacquot 32), M Boundjema (Q Lespiaucq 55), S Charlet (E Murray 38), D Ramsay (B Monzeglio 65), J Pierre, J Domolailai, P Butler, B Monzeglio (S Dougall 62). Scorers: Tries: Scorers: P Butler, M Ratuvou, W Votu; Con: Slade.
Dragons: C Meyer, N Scott, A Hughes, A Warren (R Wardle 66), A Hewitt, J Tovey, S Pretorius (C Davies 40), P Price (B Harris 62), E Dee (R Buckley 62), L Fairbrother (S Knight 57), C Hill, R Landman (captain, M Screech 65), N Crosswell, N Cudd, T Faletau (O Griffiths 40).
Scorers: Tries: C Hill, A Hewitt, J Tovey, C Meyer; Cons: Tovey (4); Pen: Tovey; Drop-goal: Tovey.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland) Attendance: 7,500 EUROPEAN RUGBY CHALLENGE CUP POOL 2 PWD L F A T BPTS N-G D'gons ............. 4 3 0 1 115 61 12 3 15 Sale ....................... 4 3 0 1 89 70 11 1 13 Castres ................... 3 1 0 2 52 77 6 2 6 Pau ........................ 3 0 0 3 37 85 5 0 0 | Jason Tovey was in inspirational form for the Dragons in Pau
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|Publication:||South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Dec 21, 2015|
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