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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00