Appleyard asks for more of the same

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

CONNACHT v DRAGONS (Tonight, KO 5pm)

CONSISTENCY of selection is key for Newport Gwent Dragons as they bid to record their first RaboDirect Pro12 away win of the season in Galway.

There are three changes in the backs – wing Tonderai Chavhanga, centre Adam Hughes and scrum half Wayne Evans come in – but the pack remains the same.

Forwards coach Rob Appleyard says it is a reward for strong performances, particularly in the set piece, in the festive derbies against Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys.

“The pack has stayed the same because we need consistency," said the former Wales flanker. “Individuals are playing well and those coming off the bench have also had an impact.

“It’s quite tough for those not in the squad at the moment because the forwards are really delivering and it’s hard to break in. Although you do want to keep players fresh, when you build momentum at the set piece you want it to continue.”

The Dragons are forced into a change in midfield after Pat Leach suffered a head injury against the Ospreys.

It means a return for Adam Hughes in the number 13 jersey and he will have plenty of defensive responsibility.

“I’ve been trying to drum into Adam the importance of reading Dan Parks’ body language,” said Appleyard, who is also defence coach.

“He needs to try and read whether Parks is going to kick, run or pass and then communicate that. People think of Connacht as a heavy, kicking side but they do play some good rugby. Parks can hold his depth and play wide. We will look to ensure we are not exposed on the outside by blitzing too much.

“We will look to control in the middle of the field and cut off their gain lines from out wide.”

Connacht: R Henshaw, D Poolman, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Vainikolo, D Parks, K Marmion, D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, N White (captain), M Swift, M McCarthy, A Browne, E McKeon, G Naoupu.

Replacements (from): E Reynecke, B Wilkinson, R Loughney, M Kearney, E Grace, P O'Donohoe, M Jarvis, T O’Halloran

Dragons: H Amos, T Prydie, A Hughes, A Tuilagi, T Chavhanga, L Robling, W Evans; P Price, S Parry, D Way, A Coombs, R Sidoli, L Evans (capt), N Cudd, T Faletau.

Replacements: H Gustafson, O Evans, N Buck, A Jones, T Brown, J Evans, A Smith, J Dixon.

Ref: Andrew McManemy (Scotland)

Comments (6)

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5:39pm Sat 5 Jan 13

let em swing says...

DE get the hell out, you have no idea, ake the clown Beale with you.
DE get the hell out, you have no idea, ake the clown Beale with you. let em swing
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Sat 5 Jan 13

exilemike says...

If they lose again heavily I would hope a number of heads roll,all the coaching team and management team.Preferable if they resign but unlikely.
If they lose again heavily I would hope a number of heads roll,all the coaching team and management team.Preferable if they resign but unlikely. exilemike
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Sat 5 Jan 13

let em swing says...

30-6 against average rubbish, the board need to make a stand here and get rid.
30-6 against average rubbish, the board need to make a stand here and get rid. let em swing
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Sat 5 Jan 13

pillboy says...

It just gets worse and worse there is no improvement. How on earth are these incompetent coaches keeping their jobs?
It just gets worse and worse there is no improvement. How on earth are these incompetent coaches keeping their jobs? pillboy
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Keith Barnett says...

30-11?
30-11? Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Sat 5 Jan 13

CaptainB says...

I listened to the match on Galway Radio, the comentators couldn't beleive that the Dragons could be so poor, Connacht got no credit for this rubbish, they had no oposition.

At 37 minutes we had hardly seen the ball, yet had made seven handling errors!!!!!

The second half was worse, only Toby is able to hold his head high, DE pack your bags, take Beale with you, and Mr Appleyard should keep an eye on the situations vacant.
MR HAZELL, you say you want to save the region from second class status and mediocrity, THEN DO SOMETHING NOW, THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, YOU ARE PLAYING INTO ROGER LEWIS'S HANDS.

There is nothing at Rodney Parade to attract decent players to come to the Dragons, except perhaps a free ticket to see the County play.
I listened to the match on Galway Radio, the comentators couldn't beleive that the Dragons could be so poor, Connacht got no credit for this rubbish, they had no oposition. At 37 minutes we had hardly seen the ball, yet had made seven handling errors!!!!! The second half was worse, only Toby is able to hold his head high, DE pack your bags, take Beale with you, and Mr Appleyard should keep an eye on the situations vacant. MR HAZELL, you say you want to save the region from second class status and mediocrity, THEN DO SOMETHING NOW, THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, YOU ARE PLAYING INTO ROGER LEWIS'S HANDS. There is nothing at Rodney Parade to attract decent players to come to the Dragons, except perhaps a free ticket to see the County play. CaptainB
  • Score: 0

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