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Dragons sticking to their guns

Guinness PRO12 Editor

30 Sep 2010

Darren Edwards has admitted the Dragons need to improve but insisted they will not change their approach to the game as they seek a second win.

Speaking ahead of Friday's Magners League tie against Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo, the backs coach for the Men of Gwent revealed his side will be sticking to their principles despite some below-par defensive performances.

The Dragons have endured a difficult start to the league season and have conceded 121 points, including 12 tries, in four league games so far.

After falling to a disappointing 40-17 opening day loss to Connacht, they recorded their first win of the season against Glasgow but have since suffered consecutive derby defeats against the Blues and Scarlets.

"We have taken a stand to develop home-grown players but one of the biggest things with youngsters is consistency", said Edwards.

"At the moment we're conceding a lot of points and we have to make sure we pay a lot of attention to our defensive game.

"We have had a lot players in and out and that has disrupted the flow.

"There were defensive lapses last week. We try to pin it on individual errors and stick with our processes. We're going to be challenged like that again and we need to make sure the players understand why those lapses have happened.

"But we are sticking to our principles. We showed last year we have a style of rugby that suits the players we have and it's a style of rugby that can be competitive.”


The Dragons lost at home to the Scarlets at the weekend

The Dragons finished seventh in the table last season, narrowly missing out on a place in the Play-Offs after an impressive year.

Paul Turner picked up the Magners League Coach of the Year for his efforts as the Dragons continued their push for a top-four spot until the penultimate game of the season.

And although the 2009/10 campaign didn’t bring any silverware, Edwards believes there are plenty of positive lessons to be learned from last term.

"Last year we never focussed on the table you need to concentrate on yourselves. And we're not looking at the table now because once we take our eye off what we're trying to do here we will fail,” added Edwards.

"Hopefully as players come back and form comes back we will be in a stronger position to carry on.

"We are sticking to what we know works for us. We've been bold in the summer, we've got a new coaching team which added a new dimension to us and we have some good young players. Our average age is dropping all the time.

"It is all part of a process. We know we are not the finished article. But we looked more of a threat against the Scarlets than we have in the previous three games.

"We're sticking to our bases and hopefully we will get more consistency. We just have to get that trust back."

Next up for the Dragons is Friday night's encounter Treviso and Edwards has been impressed with their form in the competition so far.

"Any extra competition is a good thing and it's a fresh challenge", continued Edwards

"It will certainly be a challenge on Friday night. They are very confrontational, very physical and they will challenge us in different areas to where the Scarlets did."