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Ryan: We lacked punch and rhythm

05/02/2021

Boss Dean Ryan pulled no punches after the home defeat to Connacht in the Guinness PRO14 – admitting his team lacked the ‘energy, rhythm, accuracy’ to get a result.

Former Wales hooker Richard Hibbard scoring a remarkable hat-trick for the home side on his 50th appearance.

But there was little to cheer Director of Dragons Rugby Ryan who conceded his side got exactly what they deserved after a disappointing home show.

Dragons must now regroup before Edinburgh arrive at Rodney Parade next Friday (February 12) and Ryan admitted tough questions needed to be asked of everyone.

“I’m disappointed in that 80 minutes. It just didn’t look like us and I have got to look at myself because I thought we had got it right coming into this,” said Ryan.

“We didn’t look like we had the right energy, we lacked rhythm and accuracy. We haven’t got this right and we didn’t turn up in the right space.

“There are times when we have had layoffs and come back well, but that wasn’t very good and we have got to take ownership of that.

“We didn’t have any punch or rhythm. Collectively it didn’t look like we got it right and we have to be open and challenge each other why.

“All game, right from the start, we invited them into our half easily with the same mistakes,” he added.

“It was too easy for them to come into our 22 and it was too easy for them to score. That’s just not us.

“After previously having time off we have come back accurate and with good energy. Against Connacht we didn’t and we have to look at the reasons why.

“We haven’t got a squad that will allow us to make 10 changes so we have to ask questions about why that happened and what is getting in the way of us performing better.

“We trained very well in the week and I felt we were in a good space but it didn’t transfer to the field. We’ve got a lot to do.”

The game had been tied at 20-20 going into the final 20 minutes, but it was Connacht who eased clear in that final quarter to the clear frustration of Ryan.

He said: ”We didn’t have the physicality to go over them or the pace to go around them.

“When you have that problem the only thing that you’ve got left is the driving lineout. That sums the game up a bit for us.

“They had more energy, especially towards the end when they were in front and kept turning us.”

Ryan did have words of praise for hooker Hibbard after his hat-trick heroics.

“Hibbz has been great for us and I’m pleased that his memory from tonight will be three tries,” he said.

“I think that is three in three years so they definitely come in bursts.

“He has been great for Wales, for us and lots of other teams. Full credit to him.”

We didn’t have any punch or rhythm... Collectively it didn’t look like we got it right and we have to challenge each other why...
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