Boss Dean Ryan hailed the ‘belief’ of his Dragons as they staged a stunning late comeback to defeat Ospreys in a Guinness PRO14 thriller at Rodney Parade.
Dragons trailed going into the final ten minutes but dramatic late scores from Rio Dyer and Adam Warren saw the home side claim a second derby win of the festive season.
Ryan was thrilled with the way his side battled to the victory and never lost the fight as they started 2020 in style.
“When we attacked we were causing them all sorts of problems,” he said.
“But we had a problem with the breakdown. We couldn’t get enough fast ball, but we felt if we could get field position then we would trouble them.
“At the start of the second half we didn’t have anything. That is probably as poor as we have been at trying to manage the situation. We gave away penalties that kept us in (the 22).
“We were sucked into a game that didn’t suit us. It was a static game, they kicked everything after one phase and tried to keep us in when we tried to open up.
“We have got to manage, and be patient and wait. That is why am so impressed this group because we stayed together.
“It wasn’t a game we necessarily deserved to win, but it was a game we had to hang in to win.
“We made some decisions that put us in the right areas of the field in the last 10 or 15 minutes.”
The two late tries were greeted by a deafening response from the home faithful – although Ryan insisted his nerves were fine.
“My emotions are not the rollercoaster that everyone thinks they are,” he smiled. “But I prefer winning, that is for sure.
“We talked before that we have something to believe in and it shows. They believe and that doesn’t mean you always win, but it means you have a chance.
“The last three games we have hung in there to believe we can win. “It’s been a good Christmas,” he added.
“This group has got what it has worked hard for - now we need to get something in Europe.
“I’m not sure who can play back three now outside of the coaches.
“We have lost Will (Talbot-Davies) today with a pretty serious wrist injury, and that is a young man who is going well at full back. We will have to look hard for the next player.”
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.
It wasn’t a game we necessarily deserved to win, but it was a game we had to hang in to win...