Boss Dean Ryan believes young playmaker Will Reed will grow from his derby day experience after his big role in a dramatic clash with Cardiff Rugby at Rodney Parade.
Dragons Academy graduate Reed was handed only his second start for the Men of Gwent in the United Rugby Championship and first on home soil.
The 20-yearold impressed throughout and was close to landing a decisive last-minute penalty that would have secured a win.
However, Ryan stressed it was important to focus on Reed’s long-term development and not just 80 minutes against the local rivals.
“It’s not about Will Reed this week, it’s not about Will Reed this season, it’s about Will Reed over the next couple of years,” he said.
“He will kick plenty of goals and he will miss plenty - that’s what it’s about.
“I really wanted him to have some experiences at this level and he will be better for them, that’s exactly what we want.
“His attitude to getting better and his competitive nature will mean that experience makes him better,” added Ryan.
“I have no issues about it, there will be plenty of those and in some ways the sooner he gets them the better because he can get out the other end.
“He just needs bucketloads of experiences, simple as that. He has a responsibility to keep trying to get better and has lots of people around him that keep giving him their view, which is great.
“He has got to keep putting them into experiences which are sometimes good and sometimes bumpy.
“Sometimes you are the best player out there and sometimes you feel out your depth, it’s how you adapt to those moments.
“There are so many things in this game that change – I am 56 and still see things I have never seen before – so to be at the helm at 10 when so young, he is showing a lot of maturity.
“If you don’t have the bumpy moments then you know that they are coming, they come for everybody no matter how fast your rise is.
“It’s how you deal with them and I don’t think the Cardiff game was a bumpy one for him, he played pretty well.
“He will feel he could have done better but that’s where he will be in the coming week, trying to work out how to get better.
His attitude to getting better and his competitive nature will mean that experience makes him better...