European Challenge Cup: Dragons 31-17 Castres Olympique

Dragons number eight Taine Basham stretches for his second try against Castres
Dragons number eight Taine Basham stretches for his second try against Castres
European Challenge Cup: Dragons v Castres Olympique
Dragons: (28) 31
Tries: Basham 3, Howells Cons: S Davies 4 Pen: S Davies
Castres: (10) 17
Tries: Paris, Radosavljevic Cons: Radosavljevic 2 Pen: Radosavljevic

Taine Basham inspired Dragons to a bonus-point win in their European Challenge Cup opener at Rodney Parade against French side Castres Olympique.

Dragons had their bonus point by half-time thanks to a hat-trick by number eight Basham and Dafydd Howells' try.

Taylor Paris crossed for Castres, with Ludovic Radosavljevic adding the conversion to an earlier penalty.

Radosavljevic scooted over for a try the fly-half converted himself, but a Sam Davies penalty eased Dragons away.

Fly-half Davies also converted all four of Dragons' tries as he marshalled the home backline on his European debut for the Welsh region, having joined from Ospreys last May.

Dragons travel to Enisei-STM next Friday, with the Russian side having lost their Pool 1 opener 14-57 at home to Worcester Warriors.

Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan told BBC Sport Wales: "I don't think that was nowhere near where we can be and I think a couple of tries masked that in the first half.

"We've got to enjoying winning but we've got to understand we can be way better than that.

"We've got a lot of young boys in the squad. Sometimes I'll pat them on the back and say outstanding but today was one of the days we need to be better."

Dragons: Talbot-Davies; Howells, T Morgan, T Griffiths, O Jenkins; S Davies, Baldwin; Jarvis, Hibbard (capt), Brown, J Davies, M Williams, H Taylor, Benjamin, Basham.

Replacements: Lawrence, Harris, Fairbrother, Screech, Fry, Knoyle, Botica, Dixon.

Castres: Lapeyre; Nakosi, Vialelle, David, Paris; Radosavljevic (capt), Fernandez; De Benedittis, Firmin, Fa'anunu Gimeno, N'Kinsi, Gerondeau, Vaipulu, Tulou.

Replacements: Sauzaret, Stroe, Tierney, Samson, Jelonch, Fortunel, Ebersohn, Batlle.

Referee: JP Doyle (England)

Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson (England), Jamie Leahy (England).

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