Wardle Impresses in Dragons’ Debut
Cardiff Uni 1st XV Captain, Ross Wardle, shines in his first game for Newport Gwent Dragons
After a dream debut, ROSS WARDLE hopes he has done enough to warrant future chances with Newport Gwent Dragons this season after swapping the Bridge Field, Bedwas, for one of the most daunting rugby arenas in the country.
The fourth year pharmacy student was undaunted by his experience at Bath’s Recreation Ground, where he put on a great individual performance in Dragons’ colours despite the region going down to defeat in their opening LV= Cup clash of the season.
Wardle went over for one try, nearly scored another and helped enormously in the second that replacement Dan Evans grabbed just before the final whistle.
Despite the loss, it was a day to remember for Wardle, who said: “It was a great honour to be here, to be honest.”
I’ve always wanted, since I was young, to have the opportunity to play at places like this at pro level with a team like Newport Gwent Dragons.”
“Obviously, today was my day and hopefully I took that chance enough to be involved again next week.”
“My try was great work from our backs. Hallam Amos made a break on the outside and I was just screaming for it on the inside. When I got the ball I went for the line.”
Wardle admitted that there were mixed emotions in the changing-room at the end of the game, adding: “Towards the end we showed a bit of fight. There were a lot of positives but we have got to take away the negatives otherwise it is not going to work.”
Bath fielded a strong team oozing with talent, the man in the spotlight being their new flying machine on the wing, Fijian Semesa Rokoduguni, who scored two tries in the match, England centre Matt Banahan, added another, and the return of highly promising outside-half Tom Heathcote kept the points ticking over.
Wardle, though, nearly scored again when he flew down the left wing and thought he was in, only to be denied by the touch judge within a stride of the line.
With the game long gone, the Cardiff University captain also sent Evans over on the left. With such a strong performance under his belt, which undoubtedly impressed the coaching staff, Ross hopes to be involved throughout the remainder of Dragons’ season.
“I have not been playing wing for long and there may be things that the coaches have picked up on that I have done or not done. I can only learn every game and pick up things like position work, but hopefully those will come.”
Final Score: Newport Gwent Dragons 15 Bath Rugby 36
Bath scorers – Tries: Semesa Rokoduguni (2), Matt Banahan; pens: Tom Heathcote (5); cons: Tom Heathcote (3).
Dragons scorers – Tries: Ross Wardle, Dan Evans; pen: Steffan Jones’ con: Steffan Jones.