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Cardiff continue Dragons domination with emphatic Boxing Day victory

By PA
Cardiff v Bath – Investec Champions Cup – Cardiff Arms Park

Cardiff extended their impressive winning run over local rivals Dragons to 18 league games by handing out a Boxing Day thrashing at a sold-out Arms Park.

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An abysmal first-half effort from bottom-club Dragons saw them completely out-gunned by a slick home side, who would end up running in nine tries in the match as they claimed an emphatic 55-21 victory.

Rhys Carre, Tomos Williams and James Botham each scored two tries with Ben Thomas, Kieron Assiratti and Cam Winnett also touching down. Tinus de Beer added five conversions.

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Stormers coach John Dobson and captain Deon Fourie explain the premium they place on ‘home ground advantage’

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Stormers coach John Dobson and captain Deon Fourie explain the premium they place on ‘home ground advantage’

Harri Keddie scored two tries for Dragons, both of which Cai Evans converted, while the visitors were also awarded a penalty try.

It took Cardiff less than three minutes to open the scoring when Carre finished off a succession of forward drives by crashing over.

However, Dragons were soon level when a break from Aneurin Owen split the home defence with Keddie up in support to score.

The whirlwind start to the game continued with a third try in the first 10 minutes. Ashton Hewitt failed to deal with an up and under which allowed Ray Lee-Lo and Mason Grady to make ground down the right flank before Carre was on hand for his second score of the afternoon.

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Cardiff extended that lead when Thomas powered through a weak tackle from Taine Basham before a strong run from Teddy Williams gave Tomos Williams a simple walk-in and the hosts had their bonus point inside only 18 minutes.

Dragons’ woes continued when Botham forced his way over from close range for two tries in quick succession before Tomos Williams beat two defenders for his second score after Lee-Lo’s elusive run had put the defence on the back foot.

Seven tries in the first half equalled the United Rugby Championship record with De Beer taking his tally to five conversions for a 45-7 interval lead.

Dragons made three changes at half-time but the tide was not stemmed as Assiratti trundled past a weak tackle from Rhodri Williams to take the home side past 50 points.

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Keddie responded with his second try before the visitors were awarded a penalty try for the hosts collapsing a line-out drive, with replacement prop Rhys Litterick sin-binned.

Cardiff took off a number of their leading lights but they still had the final say when Grady’s burst sent Winnett over to complete the try-scoring.

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