THE relief was evident as Carl Meyer slotted over a penalty kick on the 3G surface at the Dragons’ training base in Ystrad Mynach.

After a gruelling Thursday afternoon session that had ensured lungs were burning in hot conditions, the South African full-back ensured it was time to head for a lie down in a dark room by bisecting the posts.

The Dragons have been in camp for three weeks now under the stewardship of Bernard Jackman, who replaced Kingsley Jones as head coach last month.

That they are being put through the wringer is no surprise – the same is true every summer at every club – but the new regime means there is a delicate balancing act.

Jackman is starting to implement elements of his attacking game plan and is keen to stress the players and force them to make decisions under fatigue.

“We need to prioritise and from day one we have started to build our attacking game,” said the former Ireland hooker.

“That’s what I am in charge of - that’s my passion at the moment – and we are looking to create a Dragons way of playing with ball in hand.

“The week after next we will get cracking on our defence and then August will be about contact and collisions.”

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That’s where the balancing act comes into play with head of conditioning Ryan Harris to the fore.

The pace, to the layman especially, was high as the Dragons avoid too much rough and tumble.

“You can get intensity through the lack of rest time that you give players, the length they are on the ball or through contact,” said Jackman.

“We need to get bigger, faster and stronger and as soon as you add contact in, it negates the gains that you are going to get.

“We are not the biggest team in the world so we are trying to keep out of contact for as long as we can so that we can get a good balance between running load, skill work and game sense without, I suppose, stopping our ability to get bigger and stronger.

“We will have to do contact at some stage and that will be a different type of intensity – we will want to bring the same heat when we get into collisions – but at the moment it’s more about high-speed metres.”

The GPS data has been impressive at the Dragons’ Ystrad Mynach headquarters but things promise to be a little more serene in Usk tomorrow afternoon.

Lock Rynard Landman will skipper a side that goes up against the South East Wales Cricket League club in a charity Twenty20 clash (start 3pm).

The fixture will raise funds for the Matt Hampson Foundation, on behalf of injured Dragons number eight Ed Jackson, and the Rhiannon Jade Smith Memorial Trust, which was set up in tribute of the student teacher who died in a car crash near Llandevaud in March.

Entry is £4 for adults and £2 for children and there will be live music, an auction, raffles and a South African braai.