JUDGEMENT has already been passed on the Dragons' season, making Saturday's finale at Principality Stadium a free hit and a chance to at least provide some cheer.

The campaign has been horrendous since the turn of the year. Not since being made to sit through Love Actually have I wanted something to end more.

Hopefully that relief of the finish line being in sight will be shared by the Dragons on Saturday, fingers crossed they will give it one last blast before swapping their boots for Havaianas.

The gap to the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys is huge ahead of the double-header in the capital, even if there is some mitigation.

I've written countless times this season about head coach Bernard Jackman putting a heavy emphasis on youth, perhaps too much emphasis.

With one eye on the future, the present has been grim and the stats speak for themselves – played 30, won seven, drawn two, lost 21.

There have been just two successes in the Guinness PRO14, both in September, and a solitary win on the road against Enisei-STM in Moscow in the European Challenge Cup.

It is hard to make a case for the defence with 123 tries conceded in 30 games, while it is worrying that their last five opponents (Edinburgh, Southern Kings, the Cheetahs, Benetton and Treviso, hardly the league's biggest hitters) have triumphed with bonus points.

It has been a season that has called the bluff of those who said the name of the region was a barrier to their presence at Rodney Parade.

It turns out that there was a miniscule asterisk on that statement.

What they obviously meant was that the name of the region, plus the success of the side, was a barrier to their presence at Rodney Parade.

Saturday's action won't lead to the turnstiles clacking more times next season, September's efforts will determine that, but it does provide the chance to at least sign off with some cheer.

Nobody outside the Dragons' Ystrad Mynach training base gives them much hope of ending their 15-game wait for a win in the PRO14 by stunning the champions.

However, we must hope that they at least give it a crack and play with some enjoyment.

There have been two major plus points for the Dragons this season – the scrum has been pretty steady and the driving lineout has been a useful attacking weapon.

That should put a smile on the face of forwards coach Ceri Jones, a man with a dry sense of humour and a mean poker face, but it doesn't thrill in the same fashion as the rugby played in the early part of the campaign.

There was genuine reason for optimism when the Dragons dazzled against Cardiff Blues in October.

They ran hard, they ran clever, they offloaded, they gave the ball air.

Ok, they also ran out of steam to lose 43-29 after leading 21-10 at half-time, but there were signs of real attacking intent and freedom.

Such joyous rugby has become scarce as the season ran on, perhaps due to injuries (especially to Tyler Morgan and Hallam Amos) plus a darker mood in the camp as the future became clear for those that are departing.

However, the past fortnight has provided some signs of promise with the young Dragons playing with some spark out in Italy.

In Treviso they fought back by playing some delightful rugby with tries by Jared Rosser and Connor Edwards created by slick handling. The same was the case in L'Aquila, with Charlie Davies' bonus-point score the pick of the four tries in defeat.

Hopefully the inexperienced bunch will pick up where they left off and be inspired by Principality Stadium rather than going into their shells.

I'm not particularly a fan of Judgement Day, an extravaganza that suits the western duo by giving them an annual derby on neutral rather than enemy territory.

The Dragons have never won at Principality Stadium and in truth they have never come close.

Last year they deservedly earned a bonus point thanks to a length of the field score by Adam Hughes and in 2014 they defended heroically in a 20-10 loss to the Ospreys.

But it's played 5, lost 5; points for 76, points against 132; tries scored 7, tries conceded 15.

Given the Dragons stand on the brink of three successive league whitewashes at the hands of Welsh rivals (a losing streak that goes back to Boxing Day, 2014 in the capital) one ponders the wisdom of giving up a Rodney Parade game every year.

Nonetheless, the bean counters insist that Judgement Day is invaluable and a chance to showcase rugby to a new audience (good luck getting them to Zebre on a wet Friday in November…).

To that end, the Dragons have some perceptions to challenge.

Most of those that decide to head to the stadium for the first game rather than staying outside for another, and considerably cheap, pint or cuppa will take their seats with little respect for the Dragons.

I don't expect them to break their Principality Stadium duck but I do think they have it in them to pose some problems for ex-Dragons academy coach and Gwent good guy Byron Hayward, who is now in charge of the Scarlets' defence.

The season continues for the Scarlets, Blues and Ospreys after Saturday but it's the Dragons' last hurrah.

Nothing can stop it being a nightmare season but I hope Bernard Jackman's side give it a crack and, by playing some fun stuff, manage to do something that Love Actually never got close to achieving by putting a smile on my face.