Mark McMillan taken to hospital as Bath trounce Newport Gwent Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons 16-46 Bath
Bath Rugby's Mark McMillan (centre) is tackled
Bath's Mark McMillan, centre, is tackled by Newport Gwent Dragons' Joe Bedford and Darren Waters. Photograph: David Jones/PA
Bath's Mark McMillan, centre, is tackled by Newport Gwent Dragons' Joe Bedford and Darren Waters. Photograph: David Jones/PA
Press Association
Sat 15 Oct 2011 15.12 EDT

The Bath scrum-half Mark McMillan was taken to hospital with a serious neck injury after his side romped to a 46-16 LV Cup victory at Newport Gwent Dragons.

Play was held up for 10 minutes in the first half after McMillan fell to the ground and had to be carried off. Sir Ian McGeechan, Bath's director of rugby, said: "He has suffered a knee to the back of the head and has suffered bruising to his upper vertebrae."

It was the only downside of a rousing victory for Bath, who scored seven tries through wings Olly Woodburn and Tom Biggs, returning England centre Matt Banahan and fellow midfield man Matt Carraro, plus full-back Jack Cuthbert, lock Will Spencer and replacement prop Anthony Perenise.

The Dragons' only try came when the South African winger Tonderai Chavhanga latched on to a high ball on halfway and raced 45 metres to the line.

Despite McMillan's injury, McGeechan was more than satisfied. "If we had been loose today, we would have found it very difficult," he said. "Because we controlled the ball, we controlled the possession and the way we played was a significant factor in the ultimate score.

"The players coming back [from the World Cup] will be coming into a really vibrant group. There has been a great attitude with these players and we have to keep taking it forward. We feel we have not done ourselves enough justice in the previous games this season, but today I felt we did ourselves that justice."

Banahan was the first of Bath's England contingent to return to club action, with captain Lewis Moody one of two others who are due back at The Rec. But he does not think there will be any problem getting them back to club action after their efforts in New Zealand.

"One of the pluses for [England] not getting past the quarter-finals is that we have a couple of LV games to start integrating the odd England boys and Francois Louw [South African flanker] into the back row," McGeechan said.

"They will be in training full time after having a week off, and then it means we can have a look at the make-up of the squad against Worcester next week. They need to have that familiarity of playing with one another that we have built up with this group since June."

Danny Wilson, the Newport Gwent Dragons assistant coach, admitted his team, who reached the LV Cup semi-finals last year, took a beating by a good side. "It is important to say that Bath played a good style of controlling rugby. They controlled possession and kept the ball for long periods," he said.

"We did the mirror opposite. When we got the ball, we coughed it up so easily that we spent the whole game defending. When you do that, you are going to get busted and that is what happened to us."