JACK Dixon may have been given the run around by Leinster on plenty of occasions but the centre is still frustrated that the Dragons won't be hunting an Irish double in Galway on Saturday evening.

The PRO14 champions from Dublin were nearly the victims of a huge upset in the second round of the United Rugby Championship at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons were put under plenty of pressure by the Irish province but limited the damage to 7-0 and then closed the gap with a pair of Sam Davies penalties.

They continued to hold firm in the closing stages but couldn't manage to press for one more score to stun a side hunting a fifth title on the spin.

Dixon is one of the few Dragons to have experienced beating Leinster – he was part of the 2014/15 team that did the double over them – but has also been given a fair few hidings.

The 26-year-old from Newbridge is in his 11th campaign in the senior squad and was in no mood to toast a consolation bonus against the big guns, who were glad to hear the final whistle.

"We said in the changing room straight afterwards that we have to take our chances," said Dixon. "I felt we were in the game all the way through and we are disappointed not to win at the end.

"We are going in the right direction because I have played Leinster before when you are running around and haven't got a clue what is going on.

"We all felt comfortable, we all felt that we were on the same page and the defence was strong. We can take a lot of positives from that.

"Leinster are the top runners in the league so we are happy we stuck in there, but we've got to start winning these games, especially at home."

South Wales Argus: CHARGE: Jack Dixon carrying hard against Connacht last seasonCHARGE: Jack Dixon carrying hard against Connacht last season

The Dragons' winless streak against the Irish provinces stretched to 22 games and now they take on Connacht in Galway, where they haven't won since the first season of regional rugby.

The season has started with narrow losses to the Ospreys and Leinster but Dean Ryan's men are in danger or repeating 2020/21's slow start to the season.

"The next step is that we have to start winning these games when they are so close," said Dixon. "It's always tough at Connacht but we are looking to get a win to get the ball rolling."

Dixon has formed a midfield partnership with Aneurin Owen in the opening two fixtures.

Both are primarily inside centres but the experienced man has been happy to shift to the outside to play alongside the 20-year-old from Newport, whose superb debut season led to him getting a summer call-up by Wales.

"It's been a bit of a change for me and I am quite enjoying 13," said Dixon, who has climbed to 10th on the Dragons' list of appearance makers with 143.

"Aneurin has come through and is playing really well, he was very good again against Leinster. I feel like we are building a strong partnership and we bounce off each other in certain situations.

"I am happy to play 12 or 13 to just be out there. There is a lot of competition in the back line at the moment and I am just happy to get in where I can and quietly go about my business."

Dixon and Owen were backed up by fit-again Adam Warren on Sunday when the stalwart was an unused replacement.

The Dragons are currently without Jamie Roberts until at least late November because of minor knee surgery while summer signing Cory Allen is not yet being considered as he continues his comeback from a serious knee injury.

Connacht lost 33-21 at Cardiff on opening weekend but thrashed the Bulls 34-7 at the Sportsground last Friday, running in five tries.