Dragons aim to get tough

South Wales Argus: LOOKING FOR MORE: Dragons coach Darren Edwards LOOKING FOR MORE: Dragons coach Darren Edwards

DRAGONS V LONDON IRISH (Tonight, KO 7.30)

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards has demanded that his charges toughen up in their final warm-up for the RaboDirect Pro12 season.

The Dragons aim to avoid a third pre-season defeat on the spin when they host London Irish at Rodney Parade this evening.

They suffered a shock loss to a Gwent Select XV before being thrashed 40-3 by Biarritz in the heat of southern France.

Tries by former Parade favourite Aled Brew (2), Eugene van Staden, Yann Lesgourges, Raphael Lakafia and Takudzwa Ngwenya made it an evening to forget but it was the manner of the scores that concerned Edwards.

The head coach is demanding that Irish are not given as many soft points as the countdown continues to the August 31 Pro12 showdown with Zebre.

“The biggest disappointment was that four of Biarritz’s six tries came from clean line breaks from the set piece,” said Edwards.

“If a team breaks you down with a multiple-phase attack and good play then you have to accept it, but not first phase play.

“It was down to new combinations and system errors. That can happen at this time of pre-season but we cannot accept it against Zebre in two weeks’ time.

“Hopefully we’ve identified those areas and will put things right against London Irish. I don’t want us to be giving away soft tries and I want us to look a tough team.

“I know that people like to see results but it is about peaking for the season opener. Testing ourselves against a top European team like Biarritz was a valuable exercise and there were some pleasing aspects.

“The attitude and focus in the tackle area, something we have worked hard on, was excellent and we turned them over 12 times.

“The games against the Gwent Select and Biarritz came after we had stressed our squad with very hard, physical training.

“But I want an intense performance this evening. The training is tapering off so the fatigue levels are dropping and I want a display that gives a picture of what is to come.”

The Dragons will give another opportunity for Bedwas wing/centre Ross Wardle to impress off the bench this evening.

The 21-year-old student will not get a professional contract yet but he could well earn one, along with “If he stands out this season and does key things that we ask of him then he has a great chance to get a deal here,” said Edwards.

“Ross came off the bench in Biarritz and really impressed on the wing, you want to see X factor moments from players and he provided three or four of those.

“He was on a field with Ngwenya, Yachvili and Balshaw but was running around as though he wanted to take on the world, in fact he turned Ngwenya over twice.

“It’s pleasing that the process of inviting him in to train with us in pre-season, then watching him in the Gwent Select XV and inviting him to Biarritz has worked. We have done our homework on Ross and now we’ll see how he progresses from here.”

Comments (7)

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10:07am Fri 17 Aug 12

SWBorderer says...

I hope we're not in for another season where the coach and players tell us how much they're fired up before the game and then telling us how disappointed they are after it. We had enough of that last season. Do your talking on the pitch, that's the only place it counts.
I hope we're not in for another season where the coach and players tell us how much they're fired up before the game and then telling us how disappointed they are after it. We had enough of that last season. Do your talking on the pitch, that's the only place it counts. SWBorderer

12:00pm Fri 17 Aug 12

high x boy says...

if Ross is that good why not give him a contract before somebody else does ?
if Ross is that good why not give him a contract before somebody else does ? high x boy

12:15pm Fri 17 Aug 12

rhinestine says...

Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances!

what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see.

What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!!

let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!!

Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!!

Always respect after the game, never during it!

sorry, rant over!
Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances! what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see. What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!! let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!! Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!! Always respect after the game, never during it! sorry, rant over! rhinestine

3:14pm Fri 17 Aug 12

ljg says...

rhinestine wrote:
Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances! what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see. What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!! let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!! Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!! Always respect after the game, never during it! sorry, rant over!
couldnt agree more with this post
[quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances! what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see. What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!! let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!! Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!! Always respect after the game, never during it! sorry, rant over![/p][/quote]couldnt agree more with this post ljg

3:37pm Fri 17 Aug 12

rhinestine says...

ljg wrote:
rhinestine wrote:
Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances! what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see. What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!! let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!! Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!! Always respect after the game, never during it! sorry, rant over!
couldnt agree more with this post
thank you, glad to know there are some like minded folk out there!
[quote][p][bold]ljg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: Fed up of hearing about these "great young players" they are all the same, robots, being told how to play, what ruck to hit, what not to do, and don't take chances! what's the point, as soon as the young ones get in the side they are scared of making mistakes rather than playing what they see. What ever happened to playing off the cuff, no game plan, backs lined up deep so they can run onto the ball and no silly pod system!! let the big nasty forwards wind up and smash them with spit and blood in their mouths and a nasty look in the eye!! Not all this twitting each other and shaking hands before and during a game! If you got the wrong jersey on, then I don't like you, respect you, I want to smash you! that's what they should be taught!! Always respect after the game, never during it! sorry, rant over![/p][/quote]couldnt agree more with this post[/p][/quote]thank you, glad to know there are some like minded folk out there! rhinestine

5:21pm Fri 17 Aug 12

mark118 says...

Fed up of this fired up crap! Edwards is a useless coach and needs to be replaced immediately!
Fed up of this fired up crap! Edwards is a useless coach and needs to be replaced immediately! mark118

6:43pm Fri 17 Aug 12

CaptainB says...

DE has put his mouth into gear once too often, if the troops don't front up tonight he will have to do the decent thing and hand over the reigns to a competent coach.
DE has put his mouth into gear once too often, if the troops don't front up tonight he will have to do the decent thing and hand over the reigns to a competent coach. CaptainB

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