Chavhanga: Players must take blame for Dragons woes
WINGER Tonderai Chavhanga has insisted the blame for Newport Gwent Dragons’ woes should be laid squarely at the feet of the players.
The mea culpa comes as the Rodney Parade outfit languish one from bottom of the RaboDirect Pro12 with winless Italian whipping boys the only team beneath them.
Leaders Ulster became the third side to leave Newport with the spoils this season when they inflicted a 46-19 drubbing on the Dragons last Friday night.
That six-try drubbing has led to plenty of finger-pointing, but former South Africa wing Chavhanga believes it is the 23 players who should cop the flak.
“We are all really frustrated and disappointed in ourselves,” said the affable Zimbabwean, who won four caps for the Springboks.
“I’ve played rugby for quite a while and we are working as hard, if not harder, than all of the teams that I have played for.
“It’s not down to a lack of preparation and every time we play to the game plan that our coaches have given us things work out.
“But it comes down to us as players to take a bit of ownership and responsibility on the field.
“It’s the little things that keep on piling up – if every guy makes one mistake then that’s 23 and they are really hampering us.
“As professionals we have to cut them out because we have got to do better than this.”
Chavhanga played 80 minutes for the first time since injuring his knee against the Ospreys at the end of last season, a problem that required summer surgery.
Last season’s fixture in Glasgow was the 28-year-old’s first away game in Dragons colours and he will be hoping Friday sees a repeat of his last trip to Scotland.
Chavhanga was the two-try hero in the March win in Edinburgh – the last time that the region picked anything up on their travels.
“It’s always great to get an away win like we did in Edinburgh,” he said. “It’s an awesome feeling and I do think that we have what it takes to turn it around.
“Fix those little mistakes we are making and we have a chance against any side – we showed that in the first half against Ulster.
“They are unbeaten but we were right in there with them and probably should have been ahead at half-time.”
Dragons are hopeful of Lewis Evans being fit to captain the side in Glasgow, and he will be needed given that number eight Toby Faletau is now with Wales.
The flanker missed the defeat to Ulster after suffering a groin injury against Bayonne the previous weekend.
In-form Glasgow head into the game in fine spirits after striking late to win 24-13 in Treviso on Saturday, a success that lifted them to third in the table.
They trailed 13-12 in the last quarter but Tommy Seymour darted over for a late brace to extend their league-winning run to five matches.