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Skipper remains upbeat for future

06/04/2021

Captain Rhodri Williams believes Dragons should be upbeat and positive for the future after a period of development – but admits lessons also need to be learnt from a ‘painful’ European defeat.

Dragons were knocked out of the European Challenge Cup after a late burst from Northampton Saints saw the English side wrap an unforgettable 43-39 victory at Rodney Parade.

Scrum half Williams conceded defeat was a difficult pill to swallow for Dean Ryan’s men after they built up a second half lead on home soil.

But looking at the bigger picture, Williams believes the brand of rugby that team has produced over the last six weeks is a reason to be positive for the future.

“Our performances have been significantly better over the last six weeks. We are learning as we are going and it is showing,” said Williams.

“In the first 35 minutes against Edinburgh we showed glimpses of what we can do and it was the same against a quality Northampton side.

“We put them under some real pressure, but on the other side it’s about us dealing with pressure and when they have the momentum.

“The defeat is painful because there were so many positives. We could and should have pushed on to win that game,” he added.

“We went a bit passive and tried hanging on to win rather than keeping to the plan of how we want to play and putting it on them.

“Credit to Northampton, they came at us second half and scored some impressive tries. We will take plenty of positives but there is plenty to work on as well.

“It’s a good learning experience for us. We are disappointed to have lost and it really hurts, but there is a lot that we can take from that game.

“The main point is not to try and hang on, we should push on. A Leinster or Ulster would keep putting a side to the sword.

“We have to be confident like that and keep playing in the same way that got us in the lead.”

Our performances have been significantly better over the last six weeks... We are learning as we are going and it is showing...
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