A double from captain Kevin Morgan powered the Dragons into the quarter-finals. Playing the bottom side in Pool 1 of the ERC tournament, Paul Turner's side turned an 8-3 half-time deficit into a bonus-point victory to finish ahead of Bristol.
With both sides finishing on twenty-five points, the first place position came down to try count between the two sides, with the Dragons securing it 2-1. Yet it took a second-half double from skipper Morgan to gain the crucial points.
Fly-half Ceri Sweeney opened the scoring with a penalty goal in only the third minute, before locks Cedric Bergez and Luke Charteris were sent to the sin-bin for exchanging blows in the ninth minute. The home side made the most of the 14-a-side game when No.8 Marc Baget rumbled over for the game's opening try.
The Dragons' hopes of European silverware were looking slim when Bayonne fly-half Henri-Pierre Vermis slotted a penalty goal on the half-hour mark. The home side, who were below even Bucuresti in the Pool before the match, took an 8-3 lead into half-time.
Winger Aled Brew brought the Dragons back into the match with a try in the corner in the 44th minute, but they were left to rue poor defence when Vermis threw an outrageous dummy in the 55th minute. No one in the crowd fell for it but the Dragons players all seemed to as the Bayonne fly-half ghosted in for a try under the posts. His conversion simply twisted the knife and American international Paul Emerick's yellow card punished the Dragons further.
Despite their one-man disadvantage, Wales back-rower Michael Owen inspired the Dragons' comeback with a huge skip-out pass to put in-form skipper Morgan over. Sweeney added the extras to level the scores and the Dragons took the lead when replacement back-rower Andrew Hall scored.
The home fans at Stade Jean Dauger were stunned into silence in the seventy-fourth minute when Morgan completed a superb sequence of phases from the halfway line. Sweeney added the conversion to give his side an unassailable lead as Bayonne gave up hope of an upset.