Flyhalf Josh Lewis scored 18 points as the Dragons held off a spirited fight-back from the visiting Southern Kings from South Africa to claim a 27-22 victory in their PRO14 clash at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
In a battle between the two worst-performing sides from last season, it was the Dragons who held on for the win as they scored tries through flankers Ollie Griffiths and Aaron Wainwright, and Lewis, who also kicked three conversions and two penalties.
The Kings will feel they could have got more from the game as they dominated large parts of it in terms of territory and possession, but a slow start mesant they were always chasing the game.
They scored four tries through hooker Mike Willemse, wing Bjorn Basson, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla and fullback Yaw Penxe, but also committed too many errors on attack.
The home side took an early lead when Griffiths barged his way over near the posts, before that advantage was extended to 14 points when Wainwright charged down a clearance kick and added a second try.
Lewis added a penalty after Kings centre Harlon Klaasen was penalised for playing the ball on the ground and at that stage it was one-way traffic.
But the visitors gradually began to claw their way back into the game and they were rewarded when just a minute after Dragons scrumhalf Rhodri Williams was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-down, Willemse crossed for a try from a driving maul.
And three minutes later that added a second try as veteran former Springbok Basson crossed for a debut try after he finished off a fine break from the Kings to leave the score 17-10 to the Dragons at halftime.
The Kings continued to press in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, feeding off the mistakes of the home side and they levelled the scores as scrumhalf Masimla raced clear after the visitors had turned over the ball in midfield.
Lewis restored the Dragons lead with a penalty after the Kings were accused of collapsing the scrum, before they took a grip on the game as Lewis collected an up-and-under from Williams under no pressure and raced clear to score a try.
The Kings were camped in their opponents' half in the final 10 minutes and after several near-misses, scored a fourth try through Penxe, awarded after a Television Match Official review, but it proved too little too late to claim a win.