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Ryan proud of mature Russian show

22/11/2019

Boss Dean Ryan praised a mature performance from his young Dragons as they eased past Enisei-STM 49-22 in the European Challenge Cup in Krasnodar.

Seven-try Dragons powered away in the second half in Southern Russia to roar to the top of Pool 1 with maximum points after two games.

Jordan Williams, Arwel Robson, Ben Fry, Will Talbot-Davies, Ellis Shipp, Dafydd Howells and Tyler Morgan all crossed the whitewash to wrap up a bonus point win.

Dragons now turn their attentions back to the Guinness PRO14 and Zebre on home soil next weekend before a European double-header with Worcester Warriors in December.

And Ryan was thrilled with the way his young guns had fired in a testing environment.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the performance from such a young group.

“The young players needed to understand what it takes to prepare and compete in difficult games - I thought we passed that test with flying colours.

“We were up against a fired-up Enisei side on a windy and very cold night, but the likes of Ben Fry and Ellis Shipp were tremendous, and Taine Basham was just outstanding again.

“You come away to teams like this and people expect you to be ahead early on. You should win, but it is a test and you have got to dig in.

“In that first half we played into a strong wind and it was minus six on the back of an hour bus trip to get to the venue. These things can derail you.

“I’m proud of the team. Proud of the way we passed that examination.

“Part of the challenge with these games is the long-distance travel, it is all set up to trip you up.

“With all that in mind, I’m pleased with the experience we’ve had, the way we have dealt with the pressure and got maximum points.”

Ryan also gave an injury update on Jordan Williams - who was forced off with injury in the first half - and Jacob Botica, who was on the end of clash of heads in the final play of the match.

“Jordan has twisted his knee so that is a concern for us, so we will assess it over the next few days,” he added.

“Jacob has had stitches after the clash of heads and is okay. I’m pleased to say he is fine, and we will look after him ahead of the game next weekend with Zebre.”

Dragons are next at home when they tackle Zebre in the Guinness PRO14 at Rodney Parade on Saturday, November 30. Can Dean Ryan's men make it a hat-trick of wins on home soil? 

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The young players needed to understand what it takes to prepare and compete in difficult games - I thought we passed that test with flying colours...
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