The Dragons now head Wales’ hopes in the Celtic League after scorching the Scarlets at Rodney Parade.
Goal king Percy Montgomery kicked all the points as Mike Ruddock’s team sent title rivals Llanelli crashing to a second successive defeat with a gritty victory at Newport.
The former Springbok was prolific in front of goal – kicking a perfect five from five – while young Scarlet Gareth Bowen misfired.
Bowen squandered nine crucial points in a ten minute period either side of half-time as the hothouse pressure of Rodney Parade took a hold.
While the names may have changed – slightly – but the old East v West animosity kept this Battle of Wales simmering all evening.
Both teams had a chance to state their intent and it was the Dragons who were the hungrier as they out-scraped Llanelli in a penalty ridden clash.
With so much at stake it was hardly surprising that the first half proved to be a slugging match between two fired up packs desperate to gain the upper hand.
Scott Quinnell and a rejuvenated Shawn van Rensburg fought out an intriguing duel at No 8 while both front-rows strained at the leash like two packs of
But a messy first-half kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with the game finely balanced at the break.
Quinnell came closest to breaking the deadlock but was held up over the line by almost the entire Dragons pack after Bowen’s break.
Both teams squandered guilt-edged chances as the game edged towards a nervy climax at 12-9.
Llanelli’s Gareth Williams failed to capitalise on an over-lap while a more confident Matthew Watkins could have scored after breaking the line.
But the Dragons also had their chances. Craig Warlow dropped the ball in front of the posts after chipping the defence while Ben Breeze fell as he juggled to collect a pass before Montgomery sealed the result three minutes from time with his fifth penalty.