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Ryan: Physically slow start hurt us

11/06/2021

Boss Dean Ryan admitted a slow start in Dublin had ultimately hurt his Dragons – but praised the manner in which many of his young stars fronted up to a powerful Leinster unit.

Dragons suffered a 38-7 loss in Ireland to complete the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup and this season.

The star-studded hosts had raced into an early 19-0 lead and after the game Ryan warned his team that had to learn the lessons of a disappointing opening quarter.

“I think we have got to a lot to learn to come and play in his environment. The first 30 minutes we were not there physically,” said the Director of Dragons Rugby.

“We had a couple of injuries that saw us shuffle the deck which was tough on us and youngsters playing in those situations.

“A couple of them did really well. Aneurin Owen and also Ioan Davies came on at full back and did a great job.

“But we have got to learn that when you come to these places you have got to start better than we did.

“When you lose momentum against a side like this then you never really get it back.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but we made ourselves a mountain in the first 20 or 30 minutes.”

Reflecting on the Rainbow Cup as a whole, Ryan believe the tournament gave him the ideal platform to blood youth for the long-term benefit of the region.

“The Rainbow Cup has been useful for us,” he stated.

“We have seen some youngsters really develop in it and we have much less resource than a place like this so we have to create opportunities for them to come in and they have to be prepared to learn.

“Today was one of those days that will be a bit tougher than some of the other days, but that is the space that you need them to be in.

“Their growth is where the success of the region will move on.

“Ben Carter today, playing against that sort of calibre and quality, calling lineouts for only the third time, it was probably a big lesson for him.

“But every time he has faced that before he has come back better so that is a great experience for him.

“We are going in the right direction, but we have got to accept where we are at the current time with the resource we have.”

We have got to learn that when you come to these places you have got to start better than we did... When you lose momentum against a side like this then you never really get it back...
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