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  • "There are no answers to the "Referee" problem. They are what they are. There is no pool of talented refs waiting to be tapped so we have to make do with what is available. Its the same for all teams so the problem is mitigated to a certain extent. As long as they favour neither side with their incompetence that's the best we can hope for. They may favour what they see as the "stronger" team in 50:50 situations but as the stronger team is more likely to win anyway it shouldn't affect the result. Its not a great position to be in but I can see no feasible solution except to play well enough so that the ref is eliminated as a factor in the outcome. Playing well enough is something that we do have some control over - the ref is not.
    We all know that the Dragons are not there yet - so below par performances are to be expected. If they win as many games in the 2nd half of the season as the first then they will finish mid-table. I'll settle for that as a stepping stone to something better."
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Dragons 13 Bath 30

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons went down to their third home defeat of the season after Bath cruised into the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup at Rodney Parade.

The English side are going great guns in the Aviva Premiership and their second-string maintained the momentum with a routine 30-13 win.

It was the first of two demolition jobs in Newport with the city centre Capitol Car Park ready to be downed by explosives tomorrow morning to make way for the Friars Walk development.

Bath rested a host of big guns but showed that they boast real strength in depth to join Leinster and Munster as winners at Rodney Parade this term.

The Dragons, however, were shocking and the gulf in class between the sides was alarming.

They have made real improvements under Lyn Jones to sit sixth in the RaboDirect Pro12 this season but they were back to their old tricks in their worst display of the campaign.

It was a performance that will have done little to convince the Aviva Premiership that the regions would add value to their tournament.

The Dragons were toothless and sloppy in attack while their defence was abysmal with a raft of poor decisions and a sky-high count for missed tackles.

It was nip and tuck at half-time when the sides met at the Rec but it was game over when they headed for the break at Rodney Parade.

Bath had their bonus point in the bag after just 31 minutes when number eight Leroy Houston added to scores by scrum-half Micky Young, wing Tom Biggs and flanker Mat Gilbert.

All the Dragons could muster was a pair of penalties by Steffan Jones that made it 27-6 at half-time after an awful first 40 minutes that also saw fly-half Jason Tovey and wing Tom Prydie helped from the field after suffering leg injuries.

The game was gone but thankfully the second half was better from a Dragons point of view.

Openside Nic Cudd sneaked over following a spirited break by full-back Dan Evans and the hosts bossed territory and possession against a Bath side that had already got the job done.

The Dragons were still, however, hindered by errors that prevented them from putting the Englishmen under any real pressure and the game died a slow death.

Dragons scorers: try – N Cudd; conversion – S Jones; penalties – S Jones (2)

Bath scorers: tries – M Young, T Biggs, M Gilbert, L Houston; conversions – T Heathcote (2); penalties – T Heathcote

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