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Ryan delight at five-star Dragons

07/03/2021

Boss Dean Ryan hailed his Dragons for expressing themselves and playing with freedom as they stunned Ospreys with a five-try super show in the Guinness PRO14 in Bridgend.

Wing wonders Ashton Hewitt and Jonah Holmes both grabbed second half try braces to build on a first half score from Aaron Wainwright as Dragons ran out 31-20 winners at the Brewery Field.

And Ryan was thrilled by the manner of the result as Dragons cut loose after a solid defensive shift gave them a platform to play.

“Against Connacht and Zebre, with that level of expectation we have looked really tight,” said the Director of Dragons Rugby.

“We haven’t looked like we are expressing ourselves and we become so nervous of an outcome.

“We talked a lot this week about trying to be a bit freer in what we are doing, less worried about the consequences and more enjoying the processes we are going through. That shone through.

“Full credit to the lads to get the result that the performance warranted, because that doesn’t always happen.

“I was delighted that our pack put them on the back foot with the drive, our strike plays were much better, we were good in the kicking contest and we looked sharp all-round.

“If we knew how to play like that every week then we would be doing it more regularly. The balance was pleasing.”

Ryan was also delighted by the performance of Wales international Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty in front of national boss Wayne Pivac.

“Wayne released Aaron to get 80 minutes and came here to see him and Ross,” said Ryan.

“Waino looked sharp all the way through and Ross looked brutal.

“I’ve got mixed emotions, because if they play like that I might not see them for a couple of weeks!

“But I want them to play for Wales and we will see what Wayne wants from them.”

Dragons are next in action against Ulster on home soil to kick-off a run of three games at Rodney Parade to wrap up the Guinness PRO14 season.

But after the bonus point win at Ospreys, Ryan insisted his focus was not on the league table.

“Every time you write about that (where we might finish) we all feel a little bit tighter,” he smiled.

“I am not really that bothered about that, this was just a game where we wanted to show some heart.

“That was the most important thing, rather than getting caught up in what the four points might mean. We are a stage where we should be expressing ourselves like tonight.

“I just enjoy watching them,” he added. “I see people putting a lot of work in that doesn’t get rewarded and that can sometimes be hard to keep them motivated.

“We have a lot of fun being at the Dragons but there’s nothing more fun than winning and hearing a changing room singing.

“It was a good performance, we looked sharper and more physical with some dominance in key areas that we exploited. Those are the things we need to be doing week in, week out.”

It was a good performance, we looked sharper and more physical with some dominance in key areas that we exploited... Those are the things we need to be doing week in, week out...
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