Dragons aiming to shatter some play-off aspirations in run-in
CAPTAIN Lewis Evans is confident that New-port Gwent Dragons can scupper some RaboDirect Pro12 playoff dreams in their run-in.
The Rodney Parade region are a long way back on the teams scrapping it out at the top of the table.
All that the Dragons have to scrap for is 10th place, currently occupied by Edin-burgh with a one-point advantage.
If the region are to overhaul the Scots and enjoy a fine end to a disappointing campaign then they will need to cause a fair few shocks because four of their five games are against teams in the playoff mix.
“In some ways it's unfortunate that we have Ulster, Munster, Scarlets and Ospreys, who are all pushing for the playoffs,” said Evans, who will also take his side to Edinburgh.
“But it's a great opportunity and we've got nothing to lose. We've already had some major lows this season but let's go out there, leave nothing in the changing room and go for it to hopefully end on a high.”
The Dragons were downed by third-placed Leinster in the last round of action but earned a well-deserved losing point in the 26-19 defeat thanks to a try at the death.
They fought back from a disastrous start when three tries conceded in the first quarter triggered flashbacks of the eight-try, 60-3 home humiliation to Glasgow a fortnight earlier.
“After three tries I was getting nervous about there being a repeat but the boys rallied and learnt a huge lesson,” said Evans.
“You have to be switched on from the off against a Leinster side like that – their back line was outstanding – and giving 20-minute headstarts is killing us.
“We are under no illusions that a lot of people see the Dragons as a win so they come here with their tails up looking to attack us and put us under pressure from the off.
“At the start of the game Leinster were getting over the gain line so easily that we were making them look like British Lions. As soon as we started making our tackles, and gang tackles, it was a different story.
“We can really challenge top teams and it all comes down to confidence and belief – there are some youngsters here who probably don’t realise how good they are.
“But we cannot afford to keep starting games so badly.”
The Dragons travel to Swansea to take on the Ospreys, who are unbeaten in their last 11 fixtures at the Liberty Stadium, a week on Friday.