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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Dragons 54-10 Borders
Gareth Baber opened the Dragon' try-fest
Dragons (19) 54:
Tries: Tuipuluto, Luscombe, Warlow, Baber, Sidoli, Charteris, Oakley, Breeze.
Cons: Montgomery 7.
Borders (3) 10:
Try: Brown.
Con: Morton.
Pen: Morton.
Att: 5,354
The Dragons kept themselves on course for the Celtic League title with an eight-try romp over Borders.

The bonus-point win means they are now level with Ulster, who beat Leinster on Friday, three points ahead of Scarlets who play Ospreys on Sunday.

Leinster in Dublin await the Dragons in next week's Friday night finale, while Scarlets host Ulster.

Eight different Dragons players scored against the hapless Scots, with Percy Montgomery adding seven conversions.

The Borders' 17th defeat of a miserable Celtic League campaign was sealed by early Dragons tries from scrum-half Gareth Baber and lock Peter Sidoli.

Scotland international scrum-half Chris Cusiter created Borders' best moments and was a threat throughout, but the Dragons had too much pace and power.

Dragons coach Mike Ruddock, the new Wales coach, enjoyed a winning Rodney Parade send-off as his team easily preserved their 100% home league record this season.

In the process they posted their first half-century of the campaign, scoring 35 points in the second half.

Borders full-back Gareth Morton put his side on the scoreboard with a 29th-minute penalty, but the Dragons added their third try before the break when full-back Sione Tuipulotu scampered over in the corner.

The Dragons clinched an all-important bonus point within four minutes of the restart, when brilliant handling work by centre Montgomery and flanker Jason Forster created the space for fly-half Craig Warlow to score.

Just four minutes later the Dragons were at it again, as Montgomery's pass allowed substitute wing Ben Breeze to touch down wide out.

Fellow replacement, highly-rated lock Luke Charteris, claimed a cracking solo try with his first touch of the ball, showing a neat turn of speed to break through and take the Dragons to within sight of 50 points.

Wing Hal Luscombe also crossed before substitute Rhys Oakley claimed the Dragons' eighth touchdown, again converted by Montgomery.

The Borders at least had the final say when flanker Kelly Brown grabbed a well-worked consolation try, converted by Morton.

Dragons: S Tuipulotu; N Brew, P Montgomery, A Marinos (capt), H Luscombe; C Warlow, G Baber; A Black, K Crawford, C Anthony, I Gough, P Sidoli, J Ringer, J Forster, M Owen.

Replacements: S Jones, R Snow, L Charteris, R Oakley, R Jones, S Winn, B Breeze.

Borders: G Morton; A Turnbull, I Berthinussen, K Utterson (capt), S Cranston; T Vili, C Cusiter; A Johnston, R Ford, B Douglas, S MacLeod, C Stewart, J Dalziel, K Brown, S Sititi.

Replacements: S Scott, G Cross, D Weir, A Davidson, G Armstrong, I Fairley, P Boston.

Referee: Alistair McKay (Ireland).



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