Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 16-11 in their PRO12 season opener at Connacht.
Nic Cudd scored the Dragons' try in the first half, to cancel out Eoin McKeon's early score for the Irish team.
Connacht got on top during a crucial second half spell when Lee Byrne and Tyler Morgan were both sent to the sin bin.
Danie Poolman touched down, and Darragh Leader kicked another penalty to pull them clear.
A late penalty from Jason Tovey earned the Dragons a losing bonus point in Ireland.
Former Wales and Lions back row Andy Powell is to join the Newport Gwent Dragons next season.
The Brecon-born forward has signed a one-year contract with the PRO12 side.
The 32-year-old, who has played for Wigan Warriors, London Wasps, Cardiff Blues, and the Llanelli Scarlets, said: "I am extremely delighted to be back in Wales. I have very fond memories of playing for Newport RFC and can remember the great support we had from fans when I previously played for them.
"I have been very impressed through the season with both Kingsley and Lyn's ambitions for the region. I am very excited for the challenges that lie ahead and look forward to challenging the other Welsh regions for silverware."
Dragons head coach, Kingsley Jones said: "I am very excited that we are bringing Andy back to Gwent to play. He has the X-factor and brings a lot to the team dynamics not forgetting his great ball carrying skills.
"He will be coming back here to challenge the likes of Taulupe Faletau for a first team spot as well as adding experience to the squad."
Newport Gwent Dragons have announced the appointment of Kingsley Jones as head coach on a three-year contract.
The 44-year-old former Wales flanker worked at the Dragons last season as an assistant coach.
"To be back in Gwent and coaching the Dragons is a big honour for me," said Jones, who won 10 Wales caps during a playing career that included spells with Ebbw Vale, Pontypridd and Gloucester.
"For the last seven or eight years we have been tagged as the fourth Welsh region, and the coaching post here is seen by many as a tough job. But I relish the challenge and feel that it is a great honour for me to be coaching Gwent, as I am born and bred in the region."
Dragons rugby director Lyn Jones said: "I am delighted that we have been able to recruit someone of such high coaching standards. It was great to have Kingsley here to help out at Rodney Parade last season, but having him here full-time will be beneficial to both the players and the coaching staff."
The Dragons' hopes of qualifying for Europe were dealt a blow this afternoon, after they lost by 24 points to 8 at home to Connacht.
The visitors ran in five tries at Rodney Parade. Tom Prydie scored the Dragons' only try in a game which leaves them 9th in the Pro 12 table.
The Newport Gwent Dragons endured a crushing defeat at the hands of Ulster, after two tries from Tommy Bowe and another from Ruan Pienaar helped the home side secure a 38-8 win at Ravenhill.
Ross Wardle crossed over the line in the 63rd minute to score the Dragons' only try of the match.
Tomorrow's Newport Gwent Dragons fixture against Edinburgh has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Rodney Parade. The match will be re-arranged for a later date.
Wales international Dan Evans has signed a three year contract with the Ospreys and will complete his move at the end of the season.
25-year-old Evans, who won two international caps in 2009, has scored 11 tries in his 42 appearances for the Rodney Parade outfit.
Newport Gwent Dragons have signed British and Irish Lions full-back Lee Byrne and Welsh international winger Aled Brew.
Byrne will be joining the Dragons in the summer after signing a two year contract and Brew, who will also join in the summer, has signed a three year deal with the region.
Byrne currently has a dislocated shoulder while playing with French team Clermont Auvergne.
“I am excited to be returning to Wales to play again. It’s no secret that the best fans in Wales are at Rodney Parade and it will be a nice change to have them cheer for me!” he said.
Also signed is winger Aled Brew, who returns to the club after a two-year stint at Biarritz.
“I have no regrets at all about my time in French rugby, it's been a fantastic experience but I feel it's the right time to come home for me and my family," he said.
Newport Gwent Dragons has announced that wing forward Sam Lewis has committed himself to the region by signing a two year contract.
The young open side is currently with the Ospreys regional team, having previously played for Swansea RFC. He will join the Dragons in June.
Director of Rugby Lyn Jones, said: “I have always been a big fan of Sam and his brother before him.
“He comes from a good rugby family and has the edge to become a quality international player. Playing regularly will help him achieve his ambitions.
“This is a significant signing for us and just shows our determination to become the best region in Wales.”
Cardiff Blues clinched a much-needed 21-13 derby win against Newport Gwent Dragons at the Arms Park.
Leigh Halfpenny's reliable boot helped the Blues on their way to victory as they brought an end to their four-match winless streak in the Pro 12.
Dragons' Will Harries scored the only try of the match, but it wasn't enough to deny the home supporters the win they wanted, as Halfpenny secured five penalties, to score 15 of the home side's 21 points.