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Willis urges Dragons to learn from mistakes

Guinness PRO12 Editor

6 Sep 2011


Dragons centre Tom Riley tries to force his way between Ian Keatley and Danny Barnes

Dragons acting skipper Tom Willis has called on his teammates to learn the lessons from last week’s defeat to defending champions Munster and apply them to the rest of their RaboDirect PRO12 season.

The Men of Gwent’s start to the season doesn’t get any easier as they travel to the RDS Arena to take on last year’s runners up Leinster on Friday.

And Willis, who put together an impressive individual display in their 20-12 defeat to the Red Army last weekend, acknowledged the importance of coming away with something to show for their best performances.

“We showed a lot of ticker against Munster,” said the hooker, who will once again captain the side against Leinster despite coming off with a knock at Musgrave Park.

“There was a lot of guts in that effort and our fitness was outstanding to allow us to keep pushing until the end. I just feel that we missed out on a bonus point.

“We don’t want to be in this situation where we feel that we have played well but have nothing to show for it. We’ve got to learn from this, think of what we can do better and make sure we do it.

“It was a gutsy effort but we’ve got to come away from tough places like Munster with at least a point.”

Indeed before Munster fly half Ian Keatley kicked a second-half penalty the Dragons looked all set for a losing bonus point.

But despite that setback they have also been boosted by the news that utility back Steffan Jones and No.8 Tom Brown are both expected to be available for selection on Friday.

And former New Zealand international Willis is confident that his side have what it takes to bounce back in style against Leinster.

“I’m proud of that effort against Munster and by no means is that a bad start to the season. We will get better. It’s a quick turnaround,” he added.

“We worked through that difficult patch against Munster, had a breather at half-time and said ‘hey, we’re still in this’ and now we are looking forward to getting back out there against Leinster.”