RUGBY: Rokoduguni's tribute after two-try debut

Wiltshire Times: Semesa Rokoduguni scores one of his two tries during Saturday's win over the Dragons Semesa Rokoduguni scores one of his two tries during Saturday's win over the Dragons

DEBUTANT Semesa Rokoduguni dedicated his man of the match award to his former army colleagues in Afghanistan after playing a starring role in Bath's 36-15 LV= Cup victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at The Rec.

The Fijian winger scored his first try nine minutes into the match after some good work from fly-half Tom Heathcote, before rounding off a memorable afternoon in the closing stages with a second try after switching to centre after the break.

Heathcote found the target with eight kicks from eight, while Matt Banahan's early second-half try proved to be decisive after Bath had led 22-10 at the break.

And ex-Army back Rokoduguni, a former tank driver of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Afghanistan, admitted it was an extra special day after the pre-match minute's silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

"To be honest I am a bit speechless," he said.

"That one was for all the boys out there still in Afghanistan, and the guys in my regiment who are in Canada at the moment hopefully watching the game.

"It was an amazing day and to play here with some Premiership players in front of a crowd like this is something I'll never forget.

"To grab two tries was something I never expected and hopefully it is the first of many more to come for this team.

"I really enjoyed it out there, I was determined to get out there and show the guys what I am capable of doing and I'm delighted I had the opportunity to do that."

Despite falling behind to an early Ross Wardle try Bath looked in control throughout, with their young guns doing plenty to impress Gary Gold.

On top of his exploits with the boot Heathcote also pulled the strings in the midfield, while wing Olly Woodburn and full-back Ollie Devoto, who completed the back three alongside Rokoduguni, also impressed.

And despite stealing the plaudits and the man of the match accolade, Rokoduguni was quick to praise the efforts of his team-mates.

"I couldn't have done it without them at all, they were superb," he added.

"Tom Heathcote had a good day and set up my first try, and there were good performances across the pitch which made it a lot easier for me.

"We were pushing at the end there and I think the try was a bit overdue, it was great just to get one so to leave with two is absolutely incredible for me."

The LV= Cup. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and info, visit www.lv.com/rugby

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