Flanagan praise for five-star Dragons


Head Coach Dai Flanagan praised Dragons RFC for building scoreboard pressure and keeping their foot on the gas as they swept past Zebre Parma in stunning fashion at Rodney Parade.

The Men of Gwent scored five tries through David Richards (2), Rhodri Williams, Steff Hughes and Angus O’Brien to wrap up a bonus point home win.

And Flanagan was delighted with the manner of the display to finish the first block of league games with three wins out of four at home.

“That performance was reward for the effort this group have put in over the last six to eight weeks,” he said.

“The work rate has been outstanding, the way they are leading each other and challenging each other to get better.

“If I could place myself in any environment, it would be exactly where we are now.

“We’ve got a good squad here,” he added. “David Richards comes in and plays outstandingly well, and we have others ready to go.

“This is the most exciting time of the year, having experienced it with Scarlets, when you lose internationals and some of the young boys who have trained well come in and take the opportunity.

“It’s interesting to see how they go, who stands up, and will they learn. There is a lot of learnt there which excites me.”

Dragons powered to 26-7 lead by the break as they took penalties when they arose – with Sam Davies finishing the game with 22 points.

And Flanagan revealed how a hard time message had ensured the home side did not let up.

“Zebre are a dangerous team with the ball, and they won every second half they have played this year,” he said.

“That was the challenge we laid down at half-time. We don’t let then win the second half. It was great to see us kick on.

“There is no pressure like scoreboard pressure. You look at some of the games when we have gone behind and chased.

“It was great to see us do that to a team tonight.

“The simplicity of the tries we scored is what I really like,” he added. “We had a good scrum and maul to launch off and we kept the passes short to get it to the edge to give him opportunities.”

Reflecting on the first block, Flanagan added: “We’re a consistent group and work hard every day.

“We’re never that bad and we’re never that good – that is the truth.

“We were better than we were last week (against Ospreys), and our challenge is to be better the next time we play.

“As long as we take that approach daily, when we are on, we are on, and we relax and enjoy each other’s company too.

“That is what has got to us to where we are now and that is exciting.”

The work rate has been outstanding, the way they are leading each other and challenging each other to get better...
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