THE Dragons have been challenged to kick on from their morale-boosting win against Connacht to make it a Guinness PRO14 double at a raucous Rodney Parade tonight.

Bernard Jackman’s men welcome the Southern Kings to Newport (kick-off 7.35pm) when they will attempt to win successive league games on home soil for the first time since November.

They are hot favourites to take the spoils against their South African guests after a superb performance against Connacht a fortnight ago when bringing a 14-game losing streak to an end.

The Dragons romped into a 21-3 half-time lead thanks to some dashing attacking rugby before an injury-hit side defended with tenacity to withstand a charge from the 2016 champions.

Defence coach Hendre Marnitz was thrilled by the spirit shown in the second half – they made 119 tackles with a completion rate of 92 per cent – and has demanded his charges give the Parade faithful plenty to cheer again tonight.

“Connacht was really pleasing for us and we need to make sure that we kick on from that. It’s another home game and we want another good win,” he said.

“Our loyal crowd was amazing against Connacht and it was good entertainment for them while our players really embraced the atmosphere and loyalty of the crowd.

“They said they felt that every single person gave them a massive lift and we want to reward them with another good performance at home.”

The Dragons have brought back their senior figures after taking a much-changed XV to Ulster last week when they lost 52-25.

They must cope with the pressure of being favourites against a Kings side who have lost all four games heavily after their squad was flung together following their axe from Super Rugby and invite to the PRO14.

Last week they were hammered in Port Elizabeth by Zebre, who finished bottom of the table last season, but Marnitz is taking nothing for granted against his compatriots.

“The Kings have nothing to lose,” he said. “They did well in Super Rugby but a lot of their players got picked off by Japanese clubs or other South African franchises.

“They are in a rebuilding phase but if you look at their first game against the Scarlets, the score was 15-10 at half-time – they had the champions in a tight game.

“They do have ability and loads of X-factor players. As the competition goes on they will get better week by week.

“They were bitterly disappointed with last week and felt that they let themselves down, so we expect a definite bounce back from them.

“That’s not where they want to be and those aren’t the standards they want to set, so they will come here with a different mentality.”

Head coach Jackman has retained 12 of the XV from Connacht with injuries to full-back Zane Kirchner, lock Rynard Landman and blindside Harri Keddie forcing changes, Carl Meyer, Matthew Screech and James Thomas coming in respectively.

l Match preview on page 38