DRAGONS SUNK BY BATH
The Newport Gwent Dragons were condemned to a disappointing defeat in the first round of the LV= Cup at the hands of a dominant Bath side.
Scores were close at half time with Bath grabbing three tries through Woodburn, Banahan and Tom Biggs while Tonderai Chavanga and the boot of Matthew Jones kept the home side within touching distance.
The second half was a different affair as a rampant Bath side cut loose to score 26 un-answered points.
It took just three minutes before Bath grabbed their first try, in what was a frantic opening 20 minutes. The visitors had maintained position from kickoff and patiently worked toward the line before England international Matt Banahan released wing Olly Woodburn to score in the corner.
Three minutes later Matthew Jones scored a long-range penalty to close the gap however, just minutes later Bath were further ahead thanks to Banahan. The England man took an inside pass from fly half Tom Heathcote to score under the posts following fine work by the forwards.
Matthew Jones added another three points with a successful penalty before recent signing Chavanga collected a kick close to the halfway line before demonstrating his electric pace to score under the posts. Jones added the conversion to hand the home side the lead for the first time in the game.
This lead was short-lived however, as Bath seized possession from the re-start and worked through the phases before the ball reached Jack Cuthbert who showed fine pace to evade the Dragons’ defence before offloading to wing Biggs to score in the corner.
After a frantic opening20 minutes only a further six points were scored as Heathcoat and Jones exchanged penalties and Bath headed in to the break 20 points to 16 up.
The second half started much like the first and Bath grabbed their fourth try of the game after just three minutes. Centre Matt Carraro punched through the middle of the Dragons’ defence before racing up-field before touching the ball down, Heathcote added the extras.
With barely enough time for the scoreboards to be updated Will Spencer grabbed another Bath try, Heathcote once again added the extras. Following the try, Rob Sidoli was shown yellow as the second half went from bad to worse for the Dragons.
Bath continued to put pressure on the home side and capitalised on the man advantage by scoring a further two tries through Jack Cuthbert and Anthony Perensie.
The Dragons did look to grab a consolation try but were unable to breach a strong and well-organised Bath. To the relief of the home side the referee brought an end to a tough afternoon as an inexperienced Dragons side were left to reflect a 46-16 defeat to a powerful Bath outfit.
Newport Gwent Dragons (16) 16
Tries: Chavhanga Con: M Jones Pens: M Jones (3)
Bath (20) 46
Tries: Woodburn, Banahan, Biggs, Carraro, Spencer, Cuthbert, Perenise
Cons:Heathcote 4 Pen: Heathcote
Teams:Newport Gwent Dragons: M. Thomas; Chavhanga, Riley, Robling, Pewtner; M. Jones, Bedford; N. Williams, Buckley, Buck, Cadman, Morgan, Groves, Waters, Ellis.
Replacements: G. Williams for Riley (51), S. Jones for M. Jones (51), W. Evans for Bedford (75), Gustafson for N. Williams (59), Parry for Buckley (67), Jenkins for Buck (67), Sidoli for Cadman (10), Brown for Ellis (51).
Sin Bin: Sidoli (49).
Bath: Cuthbert; Woodburn, Carraro, Banahan, Biggs; Heathcote, McMillan; Beech, Batty, Lilley, Spencer, Attwood, Beattie, Mercer, Taylor.
Replacements: Abendanon for Banahan (67), Roberts for Heathcote (57), Cook for McMillan (28), Skuse for Beech (57), Tanner for Batty (70), Perenise for Lilley (51), Catt for Taylor (57).
Not Used: Caldwell.
Ref: G Morris (WRFU).