Torrid time in France for the Dragons: Bordeaux-Bègles 32 Dragons 13

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NEWPORT Gwent Dragons’ Amlin Challenge Cup hopes disappeared for another season after they lost their return fixture with Bordeaux-Bègles largely due to the pure brute force of the French forwards who gave the visitors a torrid time.

It was largely one way traffic, only a courageous performance that prevented the defeat being a heavier one.

Poor discipline was also a major cause of this big setback, the Welsh side losing three forwards to the sin bin throughout the match.

The Dragons had started well and were ahead after three minutes thanks to the boot of fly-half Jason Tovey who slotted a penalty only to be cancelled out by his opposite number, Argentina international Nicolas Sanchez.

And the Pumas outside-half tormented them again just minutes later by scoring a converted try as the visitors started taking a mauling up front.

Their scrum was being dismantled by the French Top 14 who used as a platform to completely dominate the game.

It was hard to stop yourself wincing the carnage unleashed by the home side’s pack and the hosts were clearly smarting from last week’s 40-24 beating at Rodney Parade.

In saying that, the Dragons were just about holding in there as Bordeaux-Bègles made a number of handling errors but Sanchez was on target after 23 minutes with his third penalty to make it 16-3.

The Gwent region almost hit back though when some fine phase play saw loosehead prop Owen Evans lose the ball as he went over the Bordeaux-Bègles try-line.

From the resulting scrum-five, the hosts were penalised and Tovey slotted over the three points.

But a silly penalty from the restart meant the deadly Sanchez was given another shot at goal which he didn’t miss.

And the Dragons’ cause wasn’t helped in the slightest when their captain and lock Andrew Coombs was yellow carded from the restart for taking a man out in the air.

But it was the visitors who scored next through a cute try, slick hands putting number eight Toby Faletau under the posts, Tovey’s extras reducing the home side’s lead to 19-13.

And it was the Dragons who ended the half on top, a remarkable turnaround.

But again their fortunes weren’t helped by yet another sin binning, Lewis Evans penalised for a dangerous tackle, Sanchez’s long range taking them two scores ahead.

The visitors were showing great character and some fine play could have seen them yield points only for full-back Dan Evans ran into this own player.

The Dragons discipline let them down for a third time when lock Rob Sidoli was binned for taking his opposite number out in the lineout.

The Top 14 side took advantage eventually when wing Robert Lilomaiava crossed in the corner for his side’s second try, Sanchez missing his first kick of the day with the difficult conversion.

The match petered out in the closing stages, the hosts having proved their point and the Dragons battling on to salvage some pride.

There was still time for Jefferson Poirot to cross in the last minute.

But there is to be no winner takes all clash against Bath at Rodney Parade for the fans to look forward to next month.

Bordeaux-Bègles: Joaquim Tuculet (Romain Lonca 65); Robert Lilomaiava, Charles Brousse, Thibault Lacroix, Jean-Baptiste Lamotte; Nicolas Sanchez, Manu Saubusse; Laurent DelBoulbes (Benat Auzqui 56), Clement Maynadier, Silviu Florea (Jefferson Poirot 57), Cameron Treloar, Adam Jaulhac (Aliki Fakate 60), Gauthier Gibouin (capt), Poutasi Luafutu, Tai Tuifua

Replacements: Benjamin Sa, Marco Tauleigne, Baptiste Serin, Rafael Carballo,

Bordeaux-Bègles scorers: Tries – Nicolas Sanchez, Robert Lilomaiava, Jefferson Poirot, Conversion – N Sanchez, Penalties – N Sanchez (5).

Newport Gwent Dragons: Daniel Evans; Matthew Pewtner, Patrick Leach, Ashley Smith (Will Harries 62), Ross Wardle; Jason Tovey (Steffan Jones 74), Wayne Evans (Richie Rees 70); Owen Evans (Hugh Gustafson 70), Sam Parry (T Rhys Thomas 57), Francisco Tetaz Chaparro (Nathan Buck 57), Andrew Coombs (capt), Robert Sidoli (Matthew Screech 74), Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Toby Faletau.

Replacements: Netani Talei,

Dragons scorers: Tries – Toby Faletau, Conversions – Jason Tovey, Penalties – J Tovey (2)

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

Attendance: 3,600

Comments (14)

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11:47pm Thu 12 Dec 13

East Newport Dave says...

Quite simply, we need to recruit in big forwards or never compete with the better teams around.
Quite simply, we need to recruit in big forwards or never compete with the better teams around. East Newport Dave
  • Score: 13

8:29am Fri 13 Dec 13

phantom14 says...

We are yet to beat a decent team, which is worrying!!
We are yet to beat a decent team, which is worrying!! phantom14
  • Score: -10

10:04am Fri 13 Dec 13

hazellboy says...

phantom14 wrote:
We are yet to beat a decent team, which is worrying!!
scarlets, ulster, Glasgow not decent?
[quote][p][bold]phantom14[/bold] wrote: We are yet to beat a decent team, which is worrying!![/p][/quote]scarlets, ulster, Glasgow not decent? hazellboy
  • Score: 6

10:39am Fri 13 Dec 13

silurix says...

we have known all along that the Dragons are underpowered up front so not too surprising. On the credit side it sounds as if they showed planty of fighting spirit. There seems to be a continuing problem with ball handling skills though. You don't have to be an international player to be able to catch the bloody ball. The margins are tight. Little things like this will help define the success or otherwise of the Dragon's season. This is something that they can do something about.
we have known all along that the Dragons are underpowered up front so not too surprising. On the credit side it sounds as if they showed planty of fighting spirit. There seems to be a continuing problem with ball handling skills though. You don't have to be an international player to be able to catch the bloody ball. The margins are tight. Little things like this will help define the success or otherwise of the Dragon's season. This is something that they can do something about. silurix
  • Score: 4

10:44am Fri 13 Dec 13

foxy3rd says...

Glasgow had at least half their team in the Scotland side.Dan Way etc. are not of regional quality,didn't even stand out with Newport.
With a small engine in your car the Audi's etc. will alway's out-perform you. There hasn't been a top-line front row there for quite a few years now and the longer that poor results go on the harder it will be to attract anyone.
Glasgow had at least half their team in the Scotland side.Dan Way etc. are not of regional quality,didn't even stand out with Newport. With a small engine in your car the Audi's etc. will alway's out-perform you. There hasn't been a top-line front row there for quite a few years now and the longer that poor results go on the harder it will be to attract anyone. foxy3rd
  • Score: 5

3:55pm Fri 13 Dec 13

phantom14 says...

Dont think Glasgow had any or very few first team players, cant remember Ulster but probably the same, and Scarletts not up to much anyway,players are playing for a new coach but dont see much improvement. Lets hope that comes in following months and we beat a few decent teams.
Dont think Glasgow had any or very few first team players, cant remember Ulster but probably the same, and Scarletts not up to much anyway,players are playing for a new coach but dont see much improvement. Lets hope that comes in following months and we beat a few decent teams. phantom14
  • Score: -1

4:33pm Fri 13 Dec 13

corpardguy says...

What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season!
LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits.
Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening.
Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics.
What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season! LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits. Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening. Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics. corpardguy
  • Score: 8

6:08pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

corpardguy wrote:
What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season!
LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits.
Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening.
Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics.
My goodness, just checked the date and it is Friday the 13th, but must agree with Corpardguy, the Dragons are a work in progress this year and are doing quite well. We do need to get some beefy guys in the front row to help stabilise our scrum. We are quite good in the backs as the home tie against the French side showed. Last night they relied on there front power and prevented our back division from running them ragged and the ref helped them quite a bit with three yellows even the massive All Blacks would have struggled. Very unusual for Sid to be yellow carded but perhaps that demonstrates the power they had up front.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season! LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits. Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening. Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics.[/p][/quote]My goodness, just checked the date and it is Friday the 13th, but must agree with Corpardguy, the Dragons are a work in progress this year and are doing quite well. We do need to get some beefy guys in the front row to help stabilise our scrum. We are quite good in the backs as the home tie against the French side showed. Last night they relied on there front power and prevented our back division from running them ragged and the ref helped them quite a bit with three yellows even the massive All Blacks would have struggled. Very unusual for Sid to be yellow carded but perhaps that demonstrates the power they had up front. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 4

7:02pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Euwan Usami says...

To be honest I am still very positive about this season. You cant argue that there's been an improvement. Just check our league position. We know the short comings in the pack and until there is a big influx of cash, we will always struggle there. Having said that, I have seen improve upfront too. Give it time. I am much happier with the win some, lose some, mid table side for now than the desperate affair we had last season.
To be honest I am still very positive about this season. You cant argue that there's been an improvement. Just check our league position. We know the short comings in the pack and until there is a big influx of cash, we will always struggle there. Having said that, I have seen improve upfront too. Give it time. I am much happier with the win some, lose some, mid table side for now than the desperate affair we had last season. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 4

9:45pm Fri 13 Dec 13

keithbob says...

watched an old copy of dragons v ospreys and cardiff,the same season
we beat both teams at home and doubled the os.fab games and atmosphere,wish we had the likes of brew and charteris back i must admit,but we have to be realistic, we are never going to be on the same
footing as the irish/french clubs,be nice not to finish bottom welsh side
and qualify for europe if thats still possible now with whats happening to
the h.cup!
watched an old copy of dragons v ospreys and cardiff,the same season we beat both teams at home and doubled the os.fab games and atmosphere,wish we had the likes of brew and charteris back i must admit,but we have to be realistic, we are never going to be on the same footing as the irish/french clubs,be nice not to finish bottom welsh side and qualify for europe if thats still possible now with whats happening to the h.cup! keithbob
  • Score: 3

11:16am Sat 14 Dec 13

blackandamber says...

You cannot hope to win the game against a team and a pack of forwards of that size when you only have 14 men for half an hour of the match.
You cannot hope to win the game against a team and a pack of forwards of that size when you only have 14 men for half an hour of the match. blackandamber
  • Score: 5

6:36pm Wed 18 Dec 13

franklee64 says...

corpardguy wrote:
What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season!
LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits.
Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening.
Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics.
come on now, how long are dragons going to be "work in progress"

also its not just Kingsley and Lyn, its Darren, Robert and the Board too
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: What is wrong with you moaners and groaners, NGD are work in progress not the finished article. Consider where we were at this stage last season! LJ and Kingsley have done a super job in getting a TEAM together from the "collection of rugby players" we had last year and given specific game plans for each match (something we never had before), and the players have responded admirably as have the new recruits. Its BETTER and will continue to get more so with time. I really don't care about cups and silverware this year (or even next) but I do expect continuous improvement for skill sets and league position. So far thats happening. Just keep up the good work and the better players and those on the fringe of caps will start to want to come for game time (see Tovey, Amos and Prydie). We should be second best (or close too) Wales region this year and certainly next with a top half of the table finish. After that will demand better and newer plans and tactics.[/p][/quote]come on now, how long are dragons going to be "work in progress" also its not just Kingsley and Lyn, its Darren, Robert and the Board too franklee64
  • Score: -1

10:32pm Wed 18 Dec 13

corpardguy says...

franklee64 says...
come on now, how long are dragons going to be "work in progress"

For the knucle draggers and mouth breathers (Ebbw and Ponty supporters):
when is anything finished?
Is Britain Finished? are Tolouse complete? are Saracens finished?
Arguably the great wall of china is finished as is Creationism, and possibly Ponytypool, however I think that the NGD still have a way to go yet. However I will recognize when the team is functioning at a high level on a consistent basis enough to win a title or two and a cup here and there! I will consider that squad finished, that is, until it starts the rebuild process again......
franklee64 says... come on now, how long are dragons going to be "work in progress" For the knucle draggers and mouth breathers (Ebbw and Ponty supporters): when is anything finished? Is Britain Finished? are Tolouse complete? are Saracens finished? Arguably the great wall of china is finished as is Creationism, and possibly Ponytypool, however I think that the NGD still have a way to go yet. However I will recognize when the team is functioning at a high level on a consistent basis enough to win a title or two and a cup here and there! I will consider that squad finished, that is, until it starts the rebuild process again...... corpardguy
  • Score: 2

12:42am Fri 20 Dec 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

Come on Corpardguy, stop the abuse of other opinions, but your right the Dragons as all sides are always work in progress. It's called development simply because sides change (hopefully for the better) as time goes on. Remember Newport beat a very good All Blacks team, but are simply mediocre these days. Simple look at the current crop of players and push for improved players in the future (if there is one thanks to the DH at the helm at the WRU, (worse and ruddy useless).
Come on Corpardguy, stop the abuse of other opinions, but your right the Dragons as all sides are always work in progress. It's called development simply because sides change (hopefully for the better) as time goes on. Remember Newport beat a very good All Blacks team, but are simply mediocre these days. Simple look at the current crop of players and push for improved players in the future (if there is one thanks to the DH at the helm at the WRU, (worse and ruddy useless). Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

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