THE Dragons ended their losing streak on the road in the Guinness PRO14 but not in the fashion that they wanted after being forced to settle for a draw against the Southern Kings.

Josh Lewis’ penalty with two minutes left earned a share of a poor-quality yet engrossing clash in Port Elizabeth.

The Dragons no longer have to talk about their embarrassing 42-game losing streak on the road... instead they must now talk about the need to end a 43-game run without victory.

It looked like they might taste success for the first time since Treviso in March, 2015 when Rhodri Williams dashed over in the second half for a score that would have earned the lead.

However, the try was chalked off when Irish referee Frank Murphy deemed Jack Dixon’s assist was forward and not flat, with the ball catching the wind to make it look worse.

That decision left the Dragons needing to strike late for a draw and there will have been frustration at a missed opportunity for that elusive away win.

Sadly, the performance simply wasn’t there at Madibaz Stadium.

They made far too many errors and it was a low-quality clash between two struggling teams that are scrapping with Zebre to avoid being the worst in the PRO14.

The Dragons enjoyed a super start to go 8-0 up but lost their way as the mistakes racked up with Ross Moriarty, so superb for Wales in the Six Nations, summing it all up by making three howlers in the space of a few minutes at the end of the first half.

Ceri Jones’ side get another chance to end the losing streak in South Africa when they take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday and they will need a much more accurate display.

Campaign Series: ON THE CHARGE: Richard HibbardON THE CHARGE: Richard Hibbard

The Dragons were first to strike, but not before having to absorb some early pressure.

Wing Jared Rosser thought that he was going to be the man to cross after intercepting only to be denied by an ankle tap.

However, the visitors kept the ball and profited from a cruel bounce from a Lewis chip, Wales wing Hallam Amos gathering before he produced an offload that put centre Adam Warren over down the left for a 5-0 lead after three minutes.

Lewis missed the tough conversion but earned another shot at goal with a wonderful touchfinder that pinned the Kings five metres out; the hosts won the lineout but there was a neck roll at the breakdown that the fly-half punished for 8-0.

The South Africans are known for their livewire, loose approach yet it was through their tight game that they got back into it.

Penalties were kicked to the corner as the Dragons got on the wrong side of Mr Murphy before scrum-half Stefan Ungerer dived over the top of a ruck to dot down.

The Kings were soon in the lead with the scorer turning into the provider with a lovely grubber down the blindside that was scooped up by former Springboks wing Bjorn Basson to make it 10-8 after 20 minutes.

The Dragons had two golden chances to earn the lead back only for a counter-attack to end with Amos opting for a grubber rather than keeping ball in hand before a five-metre lineout was turned over.

The error count was rocketing and seconds after the visitors had blown a glorious opportunity from turnover ball, albeit the cover was excellent, former Springboks full-back Zane Kirchner had a mad minute.

He needlessly stepped outside of his 22 when kicking to touch to put the defence under pressure and, perhaps because of his error, then went off his feet when going for a jackal that allowed Bader Pretorius to make it 13-8 after 33 minutes.

The Dragons would have been happy to only be five points down at the break after making mistakes galore in the final stages of the half, three of them coming in quick succession from Moriarty.

Campaign Series: CARRYING HARD: Max WilliamsCARRYING HARD: Max Williams

Thankfully they started on the front foot and were agonisingly close to a leveller after kicking a penalty to the corner with flanker Taine Basham just millimetres shy of the line after a dark from a ruck.

However, the trip to the 22 were fruitless and the Dragons remained 13-8 down with half an hour left and tensions rising in both camps.

But it was the Kings’ mood that was lifted when, seconds after Warren had burst through only for his offoad to find South African hands, the other 13 dashed over thanks to Harlon Klaasen finishing off an overlap down the left.

At 18-8 the Dragons needed a swift response and they got one thanks to the dancing feet of Jordan Williams, with the replacement full-back jinking under the posts to give Josh Lewis a simple conversion for 18-15.

Both teams were reduced to 14 men when Mr Murphy got fed up of scrum nonsense and sin-binned Leon Brown and Alulutho Tshakweni.

That led to the introduction of Lloyd Fairbrother and he was soon joining his fellow props on the sideline after a reckless clear out resulted in yellow, and the Cornishman must have been worried about a second red of the campaign.

The Dragons weren’t a man down for long, however, with wing Michael Makase turning it into a game of rugby league by taking out Williams in the air after 63 minutes.

It looked like the visitors were back in front when Dixon and Amos combined to put Rhodri Williams over only for ref Murphy to call it back for the centre's pass.

That looked harsh but the Dragons could not wallow and they got their reward for sticking at it when Brown made up for his yellow card to win a breakdown penalty in the 78th minute.

It was far from a routine one for Lewis, who had only just been treated for a shoulder injury, but he slotted it from 40 metres out in the tricky wind.

That ensured the losing streak is over, now they have one more crack at ensuring the wait for an away win doesn’t go into 2019/20.

Kings: M Banda, M Makase, H Klaasen, T Kruger, B Basson, B Pretorius, S Ungerer, S Ferreira, M Willemse, D Terblanche, A van Schalkwyk, J Astle (captain), A Ntsila, M Burger, R Lerm.

Replacements: A Van Rooyen, A Tshakweni, P Scholtz, S Greeff, S De Wit, R Van Rooyen, B Klaasen, U Beyers.

Scorers: tries – S Ungerer, B Basson, H Klaasen; penalty – B Pretorius

Yellow cards: A Tshakweni, M Makase

Dragons: Z Kirchner (B Harris 65-71), J Rosser (J Williams 53), A Warren, J Dixon (J Tovey 72), H Amos, J Lewis, R Williams (T Knoyle 70), B Harris (R Bevington 50), R Hibbard (captain, R Lawrence 53), L Brown, M Williams (H Taylor 70), M Screech, A Wainwright, T Basham (L Fairbrother 59-61), R Moriarty.

Scorers: tries – A Warren, J Williams; conversion – J Lewis; penalties – J Lewis

Yellow cards: L Brown, L Fairbrother

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

Argus star man: Adam Warren