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Boss Ryan Praises clinical Dragons

10/10/2021

Director of Dragons Rugby Dean Ryan was pleased with his side’s clinical second half performance in the 22-35 victory over Connacht in Galway.

The bonus-point victory was not only the Dragons' first competitive success of the season, but their first win at The Sportsground since 2004.

The Men of Gwent went into half time 12-8 down despite Jonah Holmes crossing the whitewash for his first try.

But an excellent second half performance saw the region score 27 points including three tries from Jordan Williams, Mesake Doge and a second from Holmes plus 12 points from the boot of fly half Sam Davies.

And boss Ryan is pleased his side got the reward for their strong performance and claimed their first win of the URC season.

"I've got to keep supporting them and keep learning from them. Sometimes that learning hurts, like last week, but at Connacht they've got great reward and I'm really pleased for them," said Ryan.

"I wasn't aware of the statistic that we hadn't won here since 2004. We needed to get something on the board in terms of some reward for the games we've been in.

"This isn't normally the place you come and do that. We came with a plan, and we thought we could hold the ball for long periods of time and that would offer us opportunities.

"Twenty minutes after half-time I thought we were really clinical. The first half was into a wind, and it is up a slight hill.

"We wanted to see out those first 40 minutes and hold onto the ball for as long as we could. I told them 'don't make any silly errors'.

"To come out only a few points down after the break meant we could get down there with the wind behind us, put pressure on them and be clinical."

Despite Taine Basham earning man of the match, Ryan also had special praise for two of the try scorers in his back three, returning full back Jordan Williams and Wales wing Jonah Holmes.

"Jordan Williams coming back in offers us a great threat and his poise in key moments was crucial. The pace in our back three offers a real threat," he said.

Now Ryan's men prepare for their first South African challenge of the season when the Stormers head to Newport on Friday night.

Dragons will be looking to make it back to back victories and their first on home soil in the 2021/2022 campaign.

Ryan admits the fans at Rodney Parade are special and is excited at the prospect of playing South African opposition under the lights at home on Friday night.

"Rodney Parade was great against Leinster. Everybody think their fans are special, but last week the last 15 to 20 minutes were special, and we are looking forward to going back there," added Ryan.

"It will be really exciting to play South African opposition back at Rodney Parade. This win will have helped us."

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