Dragons make winning start in Challenge Cup

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A clinical first-half performance set the Dragons on their way to a 30-12 victory over Sale Sharks in Pool Two of the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Monday (AEDT).

Tries from young flanker Ollie Griffiths, skipper Rynard Landman and Adam Hughes gave the Welsh region a 17-0 half-time lead at Rodney Parade.

And although Sale mustered a fightback after the interval, last year's semi-finalist held firm and secured a bonus-point through Matthew Screech's late score.

Griffiths marked his European debut with an impressive display and sprinted over from 30 metres for the game's opening try.

A subsequent spell of Sale pressure - in which the television match official ruled prop Brian Mujati had infringed prior to touching down - went unrewarded, but the Dragons were ruthless at the other end of the field as they forged further ahead.

James Mitchell and Jonathan Mills went over for Sale in the second half, the latter crossing after Dragons replacement Phil Price had been sin-binned for bringing down a maul.

However, the Dragons were able to retain a healthy lead, which was enhanced when Screech crossed with five minutes remaining.