Young gun Amos: Dragons are on trial
THE CARROT of the crunch European clash against Bath will ensure Newport Gwent Dragons don't relax against Italian minnows Mogliano tomorrow evening, according to winger Hallam Amos.
The Dragons should get their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign off to a flying start with five points against the part-timers at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.15pm).
But the players know that they are under the microscope with their every move scrutinised in fine detail by the coaching staff.
And they cannot afford to slip up given that places are up for grabs in the squad for the round two encounter with Bath at the Rec, a clash that will go a long way towards determining the winners of Pool Two.
"We are not going to take Mogliano lightly and it's a game that the coaches will be looking at closely," said Wales Under-20s prospect Amos.
"They will be interested in our attitude and how we handle a slightly different challenge to the last couple of weeks against a side that we don't know too much about.
"This week is a trial for Bath and we all want to be involved in that. While we are not looking too far ahead, the Rec is a great place to play and it's a big game against the favourites for the group.
"We need a good performance to lead into Bath and we have not prepared any differently ahead of Mogliano – training has been the same as ever.
"We won't go into the game thinking about bonus points, we just want to make a good start and build from there."
It is the second successive season that the Dragons have been grouped with Mogliano and last season they bagged 10 points and scored 13 tries when racking up 33-0 and 53-3 wins.
But director of rugby Lyn Jones doesn't expect the Italians to just roll over at Rodney Parade and has called on his charges to better the visitors' work ethic.
"These Italian sides work incredibly hard and have some good individuals," he said. "They just keep in the game and don't give up.
"We need to be confident and back ourselves to make life difficult for them so that we can make the night as easy as possible for ourselves.
"We want to be a quality side and need to practice under pressure and play under pressure. Mogliano will ensure that happens tomorrow and the players need to respond to it clearly and accurately."
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