Edwards: No excuses after Dragons disaster
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have made no attempt to sugar-coat a ghastly performance that has all but killed off their hopes of sneaking into the final Welsh qualification spot for next season’s Heineken Cup.
The Dragons reconvene this morning after a weekend of reflection on an appalling 27-19 RaboDirect Pro12 defeat to Connacht.
The Irish province were excellent in Friday’s encounter at Rodney Parade but the hosts were a shambles, producing little in attack, being bullied in the collisions and conceding two poor tries.
It wasted a golden opportunity to put pressure on the seventh-placed Cardiff Blues, whose woeful form continued with a heavy defeat at Glasgow that same evening.
The gap remains at 12 points, and now the Dragons are left hoping that the Scarlets can lift the Amlin Challenge Cup and earn another spot for Wales in the 2012/13 Heineken Cup.
Confidence was high after heading into the game on the back of four wins from five league games, but now the region, who are not in action this coming weekend, must go back to the drawing-board.
“There was nothing to take from that,” said a downbeat head coach Darren Edwards.
“We let ourselves down badly and that reflects on all of us, coaches and players.
“You’ve got to say it like it is and that simply wasn’t good enough.
“There is no point looking for excuses because there can be none after a performance like that.
“It hurts because we had been playing so well but the attitude and physicality – key elements of our game – weren’t there.
“There were players out there that are known for their physicality but it was hard to pick out any member of our side that was dominant.
“We let ourselves down because we prepared well all week. Whatever outside influences there are, whether it’s what the other team do or the referee, don’t matter. It’s not about them, it’s what you do and we just weren’t good enough.
“Playing at home doesn’t guarantee a win. I can’t complain about missing the chance for a bonus point at the end (when Steffan Jones missed a kick at goal he would normally slot over with ease) because we didn’t deserve one.
“There is only one way to respond and that is to get back out there and work hard.”