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Ryan reflects on narrow derby defeat

23/10/2021

Dean Ryan admitted his Dragons needed more accuracy after being edged out 31-29 by 14-man Cardiff Rugby in a thrilling United Rugby Championship clash at the Arms Park.

A late Joe Maksymiw score – added to earlier efforts from Taylor Davies, Mesake Doge and Rio Dyer - saw Dragons claim two bonus points in the capital.

Director of Dragons Rugby Ryan acknowledged it could have been more, but conceded that a powerful home scrum had ultimately set the tone for the game.

“We came second at scrum time – nobody is going to hide from that,” said Ryan.

“The impact that had on the game, in terms of field position to start with and ultimately it gave them space to hide when they went down to 14 men, and we couldn’t get out of it.

“When we tried, because of the pressure, we weren’t as accurate as we would want to be.

“We know we can threaten sides, you can see how fast we came out irrespective of our internationals being here. But we also know there are areas of the game that can be vulnerable to us.

“They didn’t want to go fast, and we did. They wanted to be in a scrum, and we didn’t. It ended up being tight and we came second.

“They were able to go to scrum and drive late on when they didn’t want it to open up. It enabled them to control the pace of the game.

“When we did get chances we snatched at it a bit,” he added.

“We can still win games when we are coming second in certain areas, but we have got to make sure that our areas are the best they can be.

“The pressure we were under made us snatch towards the end when we could have got more.

“We got two points, but my head is in the space of ‘how could we be better?’ and there are areas where we can be.”

We can still win games when we are coming second in certain areas, but we have got to make sure that our areas are the best they can be....
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