Wasps claim preseason victory


Front row duo Bradley Roberts and Luke Yendle grabbed second half tries as Dragons continued preparations for the new season with defeat to Wasps at Rodney Parade.

First half tries from Josh Bassett and Ali Crossdale gave Wasps a 14-0 lead at the break.

Roberts dived over from close range in the second half – either side of tries from Burger Odendaal and Zach Kibirige – before Yendle had the final word with a neat finish in the corner.

It was a night when Dragons again looked at combinations and gave players the chance to stake a ahead of the URC opener with Edinburgh later in the month.

Preparations will be completed with a trip to Llanelli next Friday night to face Scarlets.

Dragons made ten changes from the side that faced Bristol with Max Clark and George Nott in from the start while Ashton Hewitt made a welcome return after his long-term layoff.

An early 50:22 from Jordan Williams gave Dragons a platform while Elliot Dee swopped to secure a penalty at the breakdown as Wasps mounted a first attack.

A series of scrum resets ended with a penalty to the visitors that Atkinson kicked deep into the 22. But Dragons stole lineout ball and a cross kick from Davies released Ashton to race around Mehson.

Slick hands and quick thinking from Dan Robson released Josh Bassett to score down the left for the opening try of the night.

The home side looked to respond but after Dixon and Clark carried hard the ball was spilled as Dragons looked to apply width.

A second visiting score came after a quarter of the game when a powerful run by Sam Spink was finished off by Crossdale, who latched onto a grubber kick through and collected a timely bounce.

Sam Davies was forced off after 26 minutes and replaced by JJ Hanrahan after the fly half picked up a knock as he took the ball to the line.

Sean Lonsdale disrupted ball on the floor to halt visiting pressure while Clark raced back to halt Mehson with a superb last-ditch tackle, all after Dixon had threatened himself at the other end.

Dee produced another sublime turnover at the breakdown to try and spark Dragons into life while Joe Davies nicked a lineout and Dyer and Jordan Williams raced down the left flank.

One final attack before the break saw Hanrahan kick deep into the visiting 22, but the whistle of referee Evans again halted home momentum as Wasps took a 14-0 lead to the sheds.

Dragons made changes at the break with Sio Tomkinson and David Richards introduced to try and ignite the back line.

But it was Wasps who scored a third try with Burger Odendaal collecting a kick through and diving over. Matteo Minozzi converted.

A quartet of changes duly followed – Rhodri Williams, Ben Fry, Bradley Roberts and Angus O’Brien all on – before the home side twice kicked to the corner after winning penalties.

Wasps, though, were in no mood to be breached as they forced a turnover penalty to halt the longest period of home pressure in the game.

A stray lineout saw Williams kick in behind but the footrace to the loose ball was won by a Wasp and they were able to kick clear.

Dragons were dominating territory and banging at the door, but a knock on in the shadow of the posts again halted growing momentum after a big maul.

Pressure finally told as wave after wave of forward pressure saw Roberts bash over and Hanrahan convert.

Wasps, after spending the half defending, broke out and grabbed a fourth with quick hands allowing Zach Kibirige to dot down.

Replacement Jared Rosser added immediate impetus and was involved alongside Tomkinson as tighthead Yendle scored in the corner under pressure.


12m Bassett t Atkinson c 0-7

20m Crossdale t Atkinson c 0-14

46m Odendaal t Minozzi c 0-21

68m Roberts t Hanrahan c 7-21

71m Kibirige t Minozzi c 7-28

77m Yendle t 12-28

Dragons RFC: Jordan Williams (O‘Brien 51), Rio Dyer (Rosser 72), Max Clark, Jack Dixon (Tomkinson 40), Ashton Hewitt (Richards 40), Sam Davies, Lewis Jones (Williams 51); Rhodri Jones (Seiuli 60), Elliot Dee (Roberts 51), Lloyd Fairbrother (Yendle 73), Joe Davies (Taylor 77), George Nott, Sean Lonsdale, Harri Keddie (Fry 51), Ross Moriarty (Greggains 72)

Replacements: Aki Seiuli, Bradley Roberts, Luke Yendle, Huw Taylor, Lennon Greggains, Rhodri Williams, JJ Hanrahan (Davies 26), Sio Tomkinson, Josh Reynolds, Ben Fry, David Richards, Angus O’Brien, Jared Rosser

Wasps: Ali Crossdale, Luke Mehson, Sam Spink, Ryan Mills, Josh Bassett, Charlie Atkinson, Dan Robson; Robin Hislop, Tom Cruse, John Ryan, Tim Cardall, Kiran McDonald, Brad Shields, Ben Morris, Tom Willis

Replacements: Elliot Millar-Mills, Dan Frost, Biyi Alo, Cam Dodson, Fyn Brown, Kieran Curran, Alfie Barbeary, Will Porter, Burger Odendaal, Olly Hartley, Zach Kibirige, Matteo Minozzi

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)

Attendance: 3,884

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