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Dragons set for Aironi clash

Guinness PRO12 Editor

18 Feb 2011

Acting Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards is under no illusion of the challenge his side face in Northern Italy this weekend when they take on Aironi.

The Italian Franchise, coached by Welshman Rowland Phillips are still without a victory to their name in their debut season in the Celtic league, but Phillips has brought an new wave of confidence to the club since taking over the reins at the end of last year and Edwards believes his side will have to fight for 80 minutes to come away with the win they crave.

"Aironi are a heavy, physical team and they don't give up," said Edwards.

"They put in a good performance against Leinster last week and it took Leinster 70 minutes to break them down and that was away from home

"They are going into the game quite confident and I know we will have to work hard to get a victory out there.

"They have certainly improved since we last played them and I would say they are the most improved team this year.

"They gave away a lot of penalties away at the start of the season, but they have changed that and it is only a matter of time until they get their first victory and I just hope it's not against us this weekend."

The Dragons are on a three game winning streak and following their 30 v 22 victory over Edinburgh at Rodney Parade on Saturday confidence is high before the trip to Italy.

"We have brought a lot of balance to our game recently, we scored five tries last week, some though the forwards, some through strike play and some through support play and that is a really nice balance," he added.

"With Martyn (Roberts) back at full-back we have got a good balance in our back three with some strong strike runners.

"My target is simply to get more Magners League points than we did last year, the important thing at the region is to progress and we are in a good place to do that.

"Last year we stepped up towards the end of the season and we have to do that again this year."