Lyn Jones: Time for Dragons to walk the walk
8:02am Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
DIRECTOR of rugby Lyn Jones has demanded that Newport Gwent Dragons walk the walk against the Scarlets at Rodney Parade this evening (kick-off 7.15pm).
The first derby of the season takes place in Newport with the hosts looking to end a woeful run against their Welsh rivals.
The Dragons lost all six league games against regional foes last season and earned just one point from a possible 30.
But there is a renewed vigour at Rodney Parade after a summer of change and, after much talk of ditching their tag as Wales' fourth region, Jones doesn't want any sob stories.
"All I hear is the hard-luck stories from last season about the Cardiff Blues game here and the odd penalty and the odd kick," he said. "I shake my head because you either do it or you don't do it.
"We have an opportunity on Friday against a motivated Scarlets side to show where we are in our development. There's no reason why we can't believe we can beat them.
"People can say what they like about the Dragons, but what you get here on a Friday night at Rodney Parade is a really good support base.
"It's not nice and it's not pleasant to come to this environment to play rugby. The crowd really get at you and that's what we need again."
The Scarlets head to Newport in high spirits after a morale-boosting 26-10 win against Treviso last weekend and are buoyed by a formidable record against the Dragons.
West has beaten east in the last 10 league encounters but Jones, whose side lost 16-13 at the death in Edinburgh last week, isn't interested in history.
"The Scarlets have got a good record coming here, but that's all in the past." he said. "This is a fresh start and, as far as I'm concerned, it's game one.
"We have been trying to get up to speed for this game because the Welsh inter-region games are the biggest ones on the fixture list.
"They are special occasions and they bring out the best and the worst in people. There is certainly an edge with the players because there's rivalry."
- Dragons v Scarlets team news and preview on page 37
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