The Dragons ended their end of season slump with a comfortable victory over Connacht at Rodney Parade.
Colin Charvis, Gareth Maule and Richard Fussell all went over as the Dragons clinched their first success in six games with room to spare.
The victory means the Dragons are now just one point behind Edinburgh in eighth place but will also secure a Heineken Cup play-off later this month, if tournament organisers resolve their dispute with the top English and French clubs.
Last night was all about getting back to winning ways for Paul Turner's side, with Welsh rivals the Ospreys heading to the Parade on Tuesday.
Aled Thomas was a late replacement for Ceri Sweeney before kick-off after the Wales star withdrew with a groin strain, and he got the Dragons on their way on 20 minutes. The fly half's penalty broke the deadlock with a penalty before Charvis piled through straight from the re-start.
Hooker Steve Jones provided the spark before Aled Brew took the Dragons surging forward and the outstanding Charvis drove over from a line-out five yards out for an 8-0 lead.
Connacht looked lively though the Dragons' defence held to half-time, despite the occasional wobble, and Thomas's penalty extended their lead just before the break.
The Dragons lost both Kevin Morgan and Aled Brew to injuries either side of half-time but that did not hold back the Welsh region who snatched a crucial second try on 50 minutes.
Fussell burst onto Thomas's offload to split the Connacht defence and young centre Maule was on hand to finish.
Connacht were reduced to 14 men on 63 minutes when John Muldoon was shown the yellow card for off-side and Fussell put the wraps on a satisfying evening, scorching over four minutes from time from Thomas's break and Phil Dollman's pass.
Dragons: Tries: Charvis, Maule, Fussell. Con: A Thomas. Pens: A Thomas (2)
Dragons: Kevin Morgan (Capt); Richard Fussell, Paul Emerick, Gareth Maule, Aled Brew; Ceri Sweeney, Alex Walker; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Lee Harrison, Ian Gough, Luke Charteris, Joe Bearman, Colin Charvis, Michael Owen
Replacements: Ben Daly, Andrew Hall, Gareth Wyatt, Aled Thomas, Phil Dollman, Gareth Baber
Connacht: G Duffy; D Yapp, D Riordan, J Hearty, C McPhillips; P Warwick, C Keane; B Wilkinson, J Fogarty (Capt), S Knoop; D Gannon, A Farley; J Muldoon, R Ofisa, C Rigney
Replacements: A Flavin, R Loughney, M Swift, D McGowan, P Durcan, M McHugh, T Robinson
Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)