Evans brace guides Newport home

Newport Gwent Dragons will experience the rare glory of sitting top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table after a 37-6 bonus-point victory over new Italian outfit Zebre at Rodney Parade.

It was a rousing first-half performance by the Welshmen, who are more used to fighting at the other end of the league rather than the top end.

Dan Evans grabbed two first-half tries with others coming from centre Andy Tuilagi and wing Will Harries while wing Tom Prydie kicked four conversions and two penalties and fly-half Steffan Jones added a drop-goal against two penalties for Zebre's fly-half Luciano Orquera.

The Dragons had their four tries and bonus point in the bag by the break with probable and possible Welsh caps for the big Autumn Test matches against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia watched by national coach Warren Gatland and assistant Neil Jenkins from the stand.

Gatland would have been impressed by the very early season form of regular Wales stars Dan Lydiate and Toby Faetau, who both had good run-outs against a Zebre side who showed plenty of fighting spirit for their debut in the competition.