Planet Rugby

Bath tame the Dragons

18th January 2009 14:43

Share:

Alex Crockett

Crockett: Match-winning performance

Bath set up a tantalising date with Toulouse by securing a hard-fought 15-12 victory over the Dragons in Newport on Sunday.

Rodney Parade has oft been a graveyard for contenders and Bath did their level best to avoid interment by exploding into the game, with Joe Maddock punctuating a polished opening spell with a well-worked try.

But the Dragons managed to tone down the high tempo of their guests by deftly - if possibly illegally - slowing down the ball at the break-down.

Then, with Bath struggling for ideas and down to 13 men after a double sin-binnings, the Dragons began to breathe fire.

They took the lead early in the second half and an upset loomed.

But Bath showed their Heineken Cup pedigree by stealing home with a try by Stuart Hooper after a wonderful break from the impressive Alex Crockett.

Bath admitted before the match they had taken the Dragons too lightly in their first meeting at The Rec last October, and vowed not to do so again.

Their intent showed early on when pressure inside the home 22 saw England front row duo Lee Mears and Matt Stevens combine before Stevens sent Maddock over from 10 metres for his try in the fifth minute of the game.

Bath's only further score in the opening period came from a 42-metre penalty by Butch James after Kiwi number eight Grant Webb was offside at a ruck.

The Dragons played tactically well to keep Bath out for 10 minutes when Luke Charteris was sin-binned for holding onto the ball at a ruck.

And the pendulum swung towards the Welsh region on the stroke of half-time when Hooper was also given 10 minutes in the sin-bin for persistent infringements in the loose.

Almost straight after the break, Bath were down to 13 men when number eight Dan Browne was sin-binned for a late and high tackle on home scrum-half Wayne Evans.

The Dragons took immediate advantage to make the score 8-7 as fly-half James Arlidge chipped over the defence 20 metres out for wing Richard Fussell to collect the ball and dive over for a converted try.

Seconds later the Dragons nearly scored again but centre Ashley Smith's ball to Rhodri Gomer-Davies was ruled forward.

Bath got back to a full compliment of players but still could not break the home defence.

And, on the hour, they suffered a big blow when a deft kick into the corner saw flanker James Scaysbrook commit a terrible mistake.

He threw the ball over his own line and Evans pounced to put his team in front for the first time.

It did not last, though, as a drive though the middle by Crockett set Browne on his way to put Hooper in for a converted try which proved decisive.

The scorers:

For Bath:

Tries: Maddock, Hooper

Con: James

Pen: James

For the Dragons:

Tries: Fussell, Evans

Con: Arlidge

Yellow card(s): Charteris (Dragons) - killing the ball, 28; Hooper (Bath) - trip, 39; Browne (Bath) - dangerous tackle, 43.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Gareth Wyatt, 13 Rhodri Gomer-Davies, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Grant Webb, 7 Colin Charvis, 6 Hoani MacDonald, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Adam Black.

Replacements: 16 Tom Willis, 17 Gethin Robinson, 18 Lewis Evans, 19 Jamie Ringer, 20 Rob Lewis, 21 Gareth Maule, 22 Phil Dollman.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Stuart Hooper, 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Duncan Bell, 18 Jonny Faamatuainu, 19 Chris Goodman, 20 Scott Bemand, 21 Shontayne Hape, 22 Jack Cuthbert.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Touch judges: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)

Television match official: Olan Trevor (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820