Fly half Sam Davies is targeting an improvement in precision as he believes a lack of accuracy cost the Dragons a chance at victory in their thrilling 35-28 defeat to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
The Men of Gwent went into half time 21-0 down in their opening pre-season fixtture at the Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium after a difficult first half.
Dean Ryan’s men came out much improved in the second half and managed to bring the scores level at 28-28 with just over ten minutes remaining before a late Nemani Nadolo try sealed victory for the hosts.
Davies, who captained the side in Leicester and scored 13 points, praised his team-mates for their second half fightback.
But the 27-year-old believes it was down to a lack of precision in the first forty minutes that cost the Dragons victory in their opening pre-season fixture.
“I think we could put it down to our lack of accuracy in that first half, precision moments cost us massively” said the Welsh international.
“I don’t think we should have gone into half time 21 points down but fair play to the boys, for us to come out in that second half and put on a decent showing and getting back into it.
“I think we could have stolen it at the end, but it wasn’t to be today and that’s our first hit out of pre-season and all be it a good one, but we will need to look at our accuracy in the first half really.”
He continued “I was impressed with the boys in the second half and that’s the way we got to play, I don’t think we were far off in the first half but like I said we just lacked those moments of precision and accuracy.
“In a game where you’re playing one of the top teams in England that’s going to hurt you and that hurt us today massively.
“I think we helped them get down the field too, in terms of our discipline in the first half, if we can cut that stuff out then we will be a lot better come next week and into the season.”
Dragons travel to take on Wasps at the Coventry Building Society Arena next week in their second and final pre-season fixture before the start of the United Rugby Championship season.
It’s a final opportunity for Dean Ryan’s men to impress ahead of the kick-off against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.
Davies admits there are plenty of lessons the boys can take from Leicester heading into Wasps and the season ahead.
The former Osprey hopes the Dragons can right the wrongs of Leicester this week in training and start a lot better against the former English and European Champions next weekend.
“Like I said that precision and maybe be a bit more direct in the first half, I think second half we came out and we were very direct and that put us on the front foot and then it’s a lot easier to play on the front foot” said the Swansea born fly half.
“We scored some good tries and like I said fair play to the boys coming out and putting in a big physical performance in, but if you look at that first half 21-0 down you can’t be coming to a team like Leicester and expect to win after going that far behind.
“I think it will be quite tough, we are still in pre-season so we know it’s going to be a tough week but hopefully Dean can take it a little easier on us this week” he smiled.
“But with a Sunday game next week, we will have a good week’s training and hopefully we can put on another good showing against the Wasps and hopefully the first half will be a lot better than today’s first forty minutes.”