Boss Dean Ryan insisted he was proud of his 'competitive' Dragons as they lost 20-3 to Scarlets on New Year’s Day in the Guinness PRO14.
Dragons lost out at Parc y Scarlets on another afternoon where injuries and misfortune bit.
Wales international Jonah Holmes was forced off in the opening half in Llanelli, meaning a back line reshuffle and first Guinness PRO14 appearance for Aneurin Owen.
Back row Taine Basham was also taken off with an arm injury in the opening half hour.
“I was pretty proud of us, given the disruption we had so early,” said Ryan.
“We had three changes in the back line and a 20-year-old kid who has never played in the Guinness PRO14 in a derby against the Scarlets.
“We looked pretty solid, we knew what we were doing and were very physical.
“We also had moments when we could have got into that game.
“We had a big driving lineout and a break from Jack (Dixon) where we should have got something.
“But that is our growth. We are competitive most weeks, irrespective who is on the field.
“It’s easy to just live off wins and losses, but sometimes that hides some of the good things that are going on,” he added.
“Our disruption over the last two or three weeks has been phenomenal.
“We are looking at Tavis (Knoyle) and Josh Lewis now leading the side.
“I said in the changing rooms afterwards that this is one of those weeks when I am really proud to be involved in this set-up and be a Dragon.
“I can’t allow our lives to go on win and loss. We don’t have the resources that Scarlets have, that showed when their bench wheels off and we are throwing on youngsters.
“I’m proud about how those youngsters are getting better, proud that they can hold themselves in games like this. This is as big as it gets with local derby games over Christmas.”
I’m proud about how those youngsters are getting better, proud that they can hold themselves in games like this...