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The Dragons meet Castres Olympique in Pool 1 at Rodney Parade on Saturday hoping that history repeats itself, with the home side having won both their previous encounters.
Those matches took place in 2015/16, when the Welsh region were squeezed out 32-29 in France before gaining their revenge at home with a 31-18 success.
- The Dragons’ last two games in the Challenge Cup have brought their biggest win (59-3 v Timisoara Saracens) and heaviest defeat (49-7 v ASM Clermont Auvergne).
- Castres have won eight of their nine games against Welsh opposition in the Challenge Cup, their solitary defeat coming in that 2015/16 game at Dragons.
- The Dragons scored five tries from their maul in the Challenge Cup last season, more than any other side.
— Dragons 🏉 (@dragonsrugby) November 14, 2019
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A first-half hat-trick by Taine Basham ignited a fine 31-17 win for Dragons in their opening European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 1 clash against Castres Olympique.
The Welsh side’s bonus point was secured before the interval after three tries by the 20-year-old number eight and another try by Dafydd Howells following an interception.
— Dragons 🏉 (@dragonsrugby) November 16, 2019
Ludovic Radosavljevic put Castres ahead with a penalty but Basham then touched down on six and 15 minutes, with both tries converted by Sam Davies.
Davies also converted Howells’ try but Taylor Paris’ converted try on 25 minutes then reduced the hosts’ lead to 25-10. Basham’s hat-trick was complete on 34 minutes, with Davies again successful from the kicking tee, and the scoreboard showed 28-10 at half time.
The second half was a more attritional affair with Radosavljevic crossing the whitewash to cause the home fans at Rodney Parade some concern, but a 62nd-minute penalty by Davies gave Dragons some breathing space and they saw out the win comfortably in the end.