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Bath inflict record home defeat on Dragons

15 Oct 2011
Bath inflict record home defeat on Dragons

Bath inflicted a record-equalling home defeat on Newport Gwent Dragons as they eased to a 46-16 victory at Rodney Parade.

The visitors scored seven tries to match the 30-point winning margin achieved by the Scarlets six years ago, with new recruit Tonderai Chavhanga replying for the Dragons. The only disappointment for the Aviva Premiership Rugby side was seeing scrum-half Mark McMillan, who was taken to hospital for examination, suffering a seemingly serious head or neck injury.

Both sides made several changes, with the Dragons including a number of players from Welsh Premiership feeder clubs, and Bath putting in seven academy men – three of them in the starting line-up. And it was one of those youngsters, Olly Woodburn, who grabbed the first score of the game as he easily waltzed past a lone cover defender on the right wing.

Home fly-half Matthew Jones landed a penalty from fully 48 metres to cut Bath's lead, but the revival only lasted moments as centre Matt Banahan, back on club duty after his England World Cup exploits, made an impact with a try. Jones did boot another monster penalty for the Dragons, and the home team took the lead when Chavhanga showed what he could do when running with the ball.

Scrum-half Joe Bedford launched a high ball just inside the Bath half and, after the catch was fumbled, the South African seized the chance, showing his lightning speed to scorch under the posts from 45 metres out. Jones' conversion put the Dragons a point clear, but that advantage lasted just four minutes before Bath wing Tom Biggs went over.

McMillan's injury saw a lengthy delay to proceedings, the number nine coming out from a ruck holding his neck. A stretcher and head restraint were brought onto the field before he was eventually taken off while receiving oxygen.

Both sides landed penalties before the interval before Bath claimed a bonus point just two minutes into the second half when centre Matt Carraro touched down, the conversion by fly-half Tom Heathcote converted to make it 27-16. Lock Will Spencer added a fifth try and shortly after Dragons lock Robert Sidoli was sin-binned for a ruck infringement, all-but ending his Newport Gwent's hopes of mounting a fightback.

Bath added further scores through full-back Jack Cuthbert and replacement Anthony Perenise, Heathcote managing to convert one of them as he finished with a personal haul of 11 points.

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