Sunday, 11 November 2012

Roko runs riot as Bath Rugby slay Dragons in LV= Cup opener

Match report: BATH RUGBY 36 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 15

By Harry Abbott

Semesa Rokoduguni scored two tries on debut as Bath Rugby kicked off their LV= Cup campaign with a comprehensive victory over Newport Gwent Dragons.

The Fijian winger, a reconnaissance tank solider of the Royal Scots Dragoon in the British Army, was handed a full-time contract at The Rec last month after an impressive trial period and rewarded head coach Gary Gold's faith with an impressive performance against the RaboDirect Pro12 strugglers.

Fly-half Tom Heathcote also showcased his promising talents by adding 21 points with the boot in a perfect kicking display to put pressure on the under-fire Stephen Donald following last week's last-gasp Aviva Premiership defeat at London Welsh.

Heathcote got Bath on the scoreboard early with a long-range penalty but the hosts still looked asleep when Dragons got the game's first try after six minutes.

Brett Sharman's lineout throw went long and Newport pounced on possession. Pat Leach threw the ball wide to Hallam Amos and he skipped down the touchline before passing inside to Ross Wardle to charge over the whitewash. Steffan Jones added the extras.

The home side were soon awake, however, and hit back with a try of their own. Olly Woodburn won a turnover on the right, Heathcote cut through the visitors' defence and offloaded to Rokoduguni, who ran 20 metres to the line.

Heathcote split the posts with the conversion and continued to show his capabilities on his first start of the season by adding four further penalties before the break.

Jones replied with a solitary kick at goal midway through the half for Dragons but his side's task got even steeper when second row Ian Nimmo was sin-binned for a high tackle on Heathcote on the stroke of the interval.

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