Hill targets Friday night maximum


Cory Hill has vowed Dragons will go ‘full hit’ against Enisei-STM has they bid for a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

Dragons know a maximum points haul against the Russians at Rodney Parade on Friday night (kick-off 8pm) will book a place in the last eight.

Enisei come into the game on the back of a 66-10 defeat to Worcester Warriors at Sixways.

However, Hill insists Dragons will be taking nothing for granted and must put it all out on the pitch if they are to enjoy a special night on home soil.

“We can’t look at anyone else but ourselves,” said the Wales international.

“We have got to do what we do best; have a good week in training and put our best foot forward and hopefully come away with maximum points on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to Rodney Parade, having a good week and putting it all out there to give ourselves the best chance to qualify.

“We will be better for the experience in Castres and we will go full hit on Friday ready for Enisei. “Enisei will be another big pack and another big outfit,” added Hill.

“We will tighten up on our maul defence because we lacked a little bit in that area against Castres and they were probably on top.

“We have things to work on this week and we know exactly what they will come with. Hopefully we can put our game plan in place and really go for it.

“We need to come away with maximum points and that is what we are going for.”

Reflecting on the defeat to Castres at Stade Pierre Fabre, Hill admitted it was a case of missed opportunities in the first half against an impressive French side.

“We knew it was going to be a tough challenge coming here, they are a quality French outfit,” he said.

“We spoke about scenarios in the week and we probably didn’t manage the game how we wanted to – especially in the first half.

“We left a lot of chances out there that could have swung the game a little bit.

“The crowd got behind them, the drums were going and they got on top first half and we came in 21 points down.

“We were faced with a difficult challenge going out for the second half, but there were positives and we will take them and learn from it.”

Hill also believes the young squad at Dragons will be better for the difficult experience at the Top14 giants.

“We’ve got a great group of boys and are building something pretty special here,” he added.

“Everyone is very positive and we’ve had good experiences over the Christmas derbies together.

“We have a young squad, but those younger boys are certainly learning fast and gaining great experience from playing in cup ties like Castres away.

“Everyone is getting great experiences and sometimes you come out on the back of loss and sometimes on the front of a victory.

“There are games when you have to hold your hand up and say we weren’t good enough at that was the case in Castres.”

Hill operated in the back row in France, moving to the six jersey, as he returned after missing the derby win over Ospreys with illness.

And the 27-year-old was pleased to be back in the thick of the action after his lengthy lay-off in 2019.

“It’s lovely to be back out there with the boys and playing some decent rugby,” he said.

“The first half I felt we played some really good rugby and if one or two of those chances were converted, and we were more accurate, then we were in the game at half-time.

“We played some good rugby and hopefully can build on the positives and kick on next week.

“Playing in the back row is another experience for me,” he added.

“When we come up against the big packs it adds to our lineout and I get my hands on the ball a little bit more.

“I’m enjoying it, whether I play with four, five or six on my back, I am just happy to be out there and enjoying my rugby.”

Can Dragons make the knockout stages in Europe? Find out when we face Enisei-STM in the final pool game of the European Challenge Cup at Rodney Parade on Friday, January 17 (kick-off 8pm). Click HERE to buy tickets or call the Ticket Office on 01633 674990.

We have got to do what we do best; have a good week in training and put our best foot forward and hopefully come away with maximum points on Friday...
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