Gough: Belief growing at Rodney Parade


It’s all eyes on Dragons against Benetton in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday night to kick off a thrilling rugby weekend.

The rescheduled PRO14 game from round 1, postponed due to the floods of Storm Dennis, will be played at Rodney Parade on Friday night (6th March) as the sole fixture in the Championship this week.

The Dragons, boosted by a dramatic late win against Toyota Cheetahs last time out, will looking for their sixth home win in a row on Friday night in all competitions.

With a bonus point win, the Newport side would move up to 27 points in fifth – just five behind 4th placed Cheetahs and seven points away from the Final Series spots.

Benetton sit in 6th in Conference B and have two more points than Dragons and previous meetings between these sides have always been tight. While other teams in the PRO14 take a well-earned two week break, it’s all go in South Wales as other teams watch to see how Friday night’s result impacts the Conference tables.

Ian Gough, who knows Rodney Parade well having played for Newport and then the Dragons from 2003-2007 before moving to the Ospreys is looking forward to his third outing with the Premier Sports team on Friday night.

He said: “Without doubt the Dragons have grown in belief this season and are nailing the little bits of detail that give more precision and confidence in their performances.

"They are having a good run at Rodney Parade and building consistency – there’s still areas to work on in terms of set piece, but what’s positive is they’re hunting down games and winning them where they may have lost in the past.

“I’m looking forward to this one, Rodney Parade is such a brilliant rugby ground when the team in on song and Dragons supporters are a powerful entity in an old school ground.

"They are without some key players on international duty and in the past this would have daunted them, but now they have some great youngsters taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

“With Italy not playing an international this weekend, Benetton have options and a very strong pack, they are abrasive players and the Dragons forwards will have their work cut out.”

With the threat of wider disruption to sport fixtures due to the Coronavirus, Gough added that all rugby teams and players would remain focused on the next job in hand.

He said: “It's tough but teams are used to dealing with unpredictability and any distractions like this where things that are out of your hands.

"Players and coaches will just focus on what is immediately ahead of them, close ranks and keep concentration and focus on the little percentages that make them better and allow them to win.”

Premier Sports customers can now enjoy an even bigger package of great live sports coverage from just £9.99 per month on Sky, Virgin and the Premier Player or for just £99 per year with all 152 Guinness PRO14 games live on Premier Sports 1, Premier Sports 2 and FreeSports plus La Liga TV, Serie A, Scottish Cup football, Eredivisie, MLS, NASCAR and NHL and now in 2020 adding boxing coverage via BoxNation to the Premier Sports package. Premier Sports is available in 16 million UK homes across Sky and Virgin platforms and to everyone via the Premier Player https://www.premierplayer.tv/ while FreeSports is available to 22 million UK homes across six different platforms. Premier Sports also recently launched LaLigaTV which is available free of charge to Premier Sports customers on Sky and the Premier Player.

Premier Sports, is the home of the Guinness PRO14 in the UK and is showing all 152 games from the Guinness PRO14 this season. Rugby fans can subscribe on Sky or the Premier Sports Player. Visit www.premiersports.com to sign up to see all the live action.

Rodney Parade is such a brilliant rugby ground when the team in on song and Dragons supporters are a powerful entity in an old school ground...
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