Boss Dean Ryan has told his Dragons to continue to enjoy the region’s European bid and learn from the experience - as they countdown begins to the big quarter-final with Bristol Bears.
Dragons qualified for the last eight after an impressive four wins in Pool 1 saw them claim the runners-up spot behind Castres Olympique and ahead of Worcester Warriors and Enisei-STM.
The reward for Ryan’s men is a short journey over the bridge to face English Premiership giants Bristol Bears in early April.
However, the Director of Dragons Rugby is not putting any targets on his squad and insists gaining experience and enjoying the journey must be the priority.
“I’m delighted for the group that we’ve made it through,” he said. “We’ve always talked about trying to learn and it has been an interesting experience for us in Europe.
“We’ve had highs, against the likes of Worcester, and played against an outstanding Castres side in France. We realise where we came up short and are still learning.
“We’ve never seen this competition as ‘how far can we go?’ because we recognise where we start from.
“As soon as you try to accelerate to where you want to get to, what you want to win and how many games you want to win, then you lose sight of what is needed. The group is in a development phase and young.
“We have probably exceeded some people’s expectations about what we can do. But I’m not going to stick anything on us, we are just enjoying ourselves.
“We are taking this as an experience and as long as we keep challenging ourselves, in terms of what can we learn and what we can do better, then I’m very happy.
“We have to accept that sometimes we are young and that will might make it a challenge against some of the more experienced teams.
“But we’re just enjoying ourselves and full credit to the boys for getting qualification.”
Dragons are next in Guinness PRO14 action when we face Benetton Rugby at Rodney Parade on Saturday, February 15 (kick-off 7.35pm). Join us for all the league action! Click HERE to buy online or call 01633 674990.
We have probably exceeded some people’s expectations about what we can do. But I’m not going to stick anything on us, we are just enjoying ourselves...