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Robson's points haul not enough for visitors; BEDFORD BLUES...........46 DRAGONS PS..................33.

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons Premiership Select suffered a losing start to their British and Irish Cup Pool Five campaign at the hands of English Championship side Bedford - although the Men of Gwent did men did claim a solitary try bonus-point.

Arwel Robson claimed a personal haul of 23 points, a try adding to a near-perfect day off the tee, while Will Talbot-Davies and Barney Nightingale's late double ensured Dragons didn't leave Goldington Road emptyhanded.

Dragons enjoyed the early possession and territory and opened up an early lead as Robson kicked two straightforward penalties.

There was a moment of fortune as George Perkins look certain to score for the hosts, only to fumble the grounding, then Bedford crossed again, but it was ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

They wouldn't be denied third time around, however, as a looping pass in midfield from the Dragons Select was intercepted and Bedford centre Tom Griffiths went over.

Tom Whiteley slipped through the Dragons' defence after loose line-out ball for a second try shortly after, with Myles Dorrian adding the conversions.

Robson's third penalty just before the interval pulled the score back to 14-9 and Dragons came out flying as, four minutes into the second half, Nightingale fed Robson to go between the posts.

The fly-half converted his own try to edge Dragons ahead but, three minutes later, a penalty saw Bedford retake the lead and, shortly after, Dragons knocked on five metres short of the Blues line and Whiteley ran the length of the field for his second try.

Bedford's forwards then took centre stage as a catch and drive from a lineout sealed the hosts' try bonus point, hooker Sam James touching down.

The match was now being played a frantic pace as Dragons hit back once more, Robson with the reverse pass for Talbot-Davies to score to bring the score back to 31-23.

Two tries in four minutes turned the match decisively in the hosts' fa-vour, however, Elliot Clements-Hill and Perkins going over.

Dragons would have the final say, however, as after a spell camped on the Blues line Nightingale found space on the right to go over. Bedford finished the game with 14 men as Clements-Hill saw sent to the bin for illegally preventing a likely score, but, from the resulting penalty, Nightingale burst through. BEDFORD: Tries: T Griffiths, T Whiteley (2), S James, G Perkins, E Clements-Hill; Cons: M Dorrian (3), J Sharp (2); Pens: M Dorrian, J Sharp DRAGONS: Tries: A Robson, W T Davies, B Nightingale (2); Cons: A Robson (2); Pens: A Robson (3)

CAPTION(S):

Arwel Robson racked up a total of 23 points at Bedford

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 16, 2016
Words:443
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