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
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26