Boss Dean Ryan admitted the error rate at crucial times cost his Dragons as they slipped to a 38-19 derby defeat to Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship at Rodney Parade.
The Men of Gwent produced a thrilling comeback on home soil to battle back from 17-0 down to lead 19-17 after tries from Jack Dixon, Jordan Williams and Adam Warren.
But after getting in front, errors again undermined Dragons and left Director of Dragons Rugby Ryan to deliver a straight-talking assessment.
“We gifted them opportunities in the first half hour,” said Ryan. “We should have scored twice in that first 20 minutes as well as giving them two tries.
“We talked about playing more with the ball but then we just coughed it up and they scored twice from no pressure.
“That is just not good enough. Our error rate in that period was just not good enough.
“We got ourselves back to a point where I thought the game was coming to us and then we just once again haemorrhaged errors.
“People were jumping around doing different things and ultimately the Scarlets’ drive and scrum at the end - after we lost Will Rowlands, Aaron Wainwright and Aki Seiuli - we didn’t have the power to stop that.
“The frustration is that we have spoken enough times about there being a decent game in there, but our error rate and our quality of play is not good enough. That is something that we have got to address.
“There are two or three mistakes in that second half that put them straight back on the five-metre line, which is not acceptable,” he added.
“I thought that they were there for the taking when we got to that point at 19-17, get back into their half and hold onto the ball and something would have come for us.
“But for some reason we thought about other things and that is something that we have to be really hard on next week.”
Dragons next travel to Italy to face Zebre on Saturday (April 30) and Ryan has underlined that any repeat of that kind of performance will not be acceptable.
“We are too often sitting in changing rooms talking about what we could have done, we are not taking ownership of things,” he stressed.
“It’s a common theme and sadly that’s something that I can’t force on the side because the quality of depth isn’t there, but that is something that we are working towards.
“We have to change, and you need to ask why we are not doing the things that we talk about doing.
“We have got to mature because we are not here just to entertain, we want wins.
“There is a level of maturity that comes with taking performances to wins, and we are not showing it.”
We have got to mature because we are not here just to entertain, we want wins...