WITH echoes of the Lions' summer series against the Springboks, Dragons boss Dean Ryan lamented the way the Stormers were allowed to take the sting out of Friday's United Rugby Championship clash at Rodney Parade.

Ryan's men suffered a 24-10 loss on home soil after being outmuscled in the second half by the South African tourists, who claimed their first URC scalp.

The Dragons had the better of the first half but only led 10-9 with all of their points, a Josh Lewis try and two Sam Davies kicks, coming while the Stormers were down to 14 men.

It was a frustrating – and long – night.

Davies kicked off at 7.35pm and the half ended at 8.28pm after a host of stoppages and one lengthy TMO deliberation.

Ulster and the Lions had the same fixture slot in Belfast yet headed to their changing rooms 10 minutes earlier than the sides in Newport.

Ryan felt his side looked threatening in the first half but were hindered by the game being slowed down, and claimed there was a lack of urgency from Italian official Gianluca Gnecchi.

South Wales Argus: SCUFFLE: The Dragons and the Stormers grappleSCUFFLE: The Dragons and the Stormers grapple

"It's mad isn't it? I would have hoped there would be more support from the guy in the middle," said the director of rugby. "It was probably close to an hour for one of the kicks!

"If that's the game we want to play... I thought the South Africans coming from Super Rugby were supposed to come in and speed the game up.

"We would have expected to get some support but that's not going to happen, is it? In the first half, they took every opportunity they could to slow the game down. We've got to work out how we can control that."

Asked if he had any grumbles over the penalty count in the second half, Ryan replied: "It's probably easier if you just write that rather than me creating a headline."

Just like against the Ospreys on opening weekend, the Dragons were dominated in terms of possession and territory in the second half.

The Stormers put the squeeze on in the tight and finally cracked the hosts with a try with 15 minutes to go.

South Wales Argus: LIVELY: Dragons flanker Taine BashamLIVELY: Dragons flanker Taine Basham

"You saw the best of us when we can play multi-phase and go quick," said Ryan. "They spent a lot of time trying to slow that down and make it a set piece game. We probably could have done with a bit of support in speeding that game up.

"Second half we struggled to get that in. We got trapped in scrums and the corner, we couldn't get out and there was no emphasis [from the Stormers] to play the ball away.

"Ultimately we have to be better at breaking that cycle by dominating that area, or at least be at a level where they have to play away from it, which they didn't have to.

"Even when we did get out we tended to snatch at things and were straight back in. We've got to keep getting smarter but I liked us – we were physical, looked threatening and caused them all sorts of problems in that first half.

"If we could have kept more of that in the second half it would have been a very good platform for us to go on and win.

"I am pretty happy with that. Who would have though the Stormers would have been on the rack at half-time with the Dragons looking pretty comfortable."

The Dragons head to Cardiff on Saturday when both sides will be without their Wales internationals.

Ryan is without hooker Elliot Dee, locks Will Rowlands and Ben Carter and back row forwards Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright.