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Jones proud of heart in loss

Ben Mottram | 26/01/2019

Head Coach Ceri Jones praised the work rate of his battling Dragons after narrow defeat to Munster – but admitted they had missed an opportunity to claim a prize Guinness PRO14 scalp.

Prop Lloyd Fairbrother grabbed a first half try, but Munster battled back and a second half score from Jean Kleyn edged them back in front. 

In a tense finale a penalty from Josh Lewis just slipped narrowly wide in swirling winds as Dragons had to settle for a losing bonus point.

“Tactically we were really good and our work rate was excellent to put ourselves in a position to win the game, unfortunately we just didn’t take that opportunity,” he said.

“Our penalty count in the second half just wasn’t good enough. We will have to look at a few of the decisions and see where we are at with those. It was disappointing from our point of view. 

“I am just disappointed with ourselves really. If the penalty count was down to us then we need to be better.

“Nobody is blaming Josh in any way, shape or form – it was a really difficult kick in a swirling wind,” he added.

“The work rate and our tactical kicking game was excellent. We dealt with their threat around the defensive lineout particularly well, mixing it up by hitting some and standing off others.

“They have a very strong driving game and we did well to negate that, while the scrum was decent as well.

“There were lots of pleasing aspects with the work rate of the boys and tactical nous to stay in the game for so long and put ourselves in a position to win.

“We had some really good performances over the Christmas period and we will just keep building on the back of that. If we do that then I am sure the wins will come.”

Jones added that the work-rate and desire from his Dragons was clear to see.

“You saw Hibbs’ blond hair flying around the place and he was throwing himself into just about everything,” he said. “That can be said for Brok and Lloyd, who both played 80 minutes as well.

“The back row worked incredibly hard and it was a typical Nic Cudd performance, coming off the field covered in blood after putting his body on the line for the team.

“There was no lack of effort from the players and the crowd were pleased with that, we are just disappointed that we didn’t get the elusive win.”

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