DRAGONS boss Bernard Jackman has warned his fringe players that he will turn his starters into 80-minute men if they don't provide him with some bench impact.

The Rodney Parade region have suffered a pair of defeats to start their Guinness PRO14 campaign, losing 39-16 to Leinster in Newport on opening weekend and 35-18 to Edinburgh in Scotland last Friday.

A worrying trend from the summer friendly defeats to Montpellier, Northampton, Exeter and Glasgow has carried into the season with the Dragons falling away as games progress.

Head coach Jackman pledged when he took the helm that everybody in the squad was starting with a clean slate but the Irishman is now starting to make judgements and has demanded more from those outside his XV.

"The bench gave us a negative impact in Edinburgh and that's what we saw in pre-season, where we were competitive for 60 minutes and then fell away," lamented Jackman.

"I tried to keep the bench until 70 minutes then they scored and we were out of bonus-point range so I decided to give the boys another crack. Our starting pack was very good, we just need finishers.

"The reality is that at the moment I probably will have to look at playing my starting team for 80 minutes until I get more depth.

"You've got guys like Leon Brown, who is in just his second PRO14 start at tighthead, and it's a big ask for him to go 80 minutes but if leaving him on in the 'red zone' is better than what you've got to bring on….

"I've said to the bench that people are looking for game time but when they get it they don't do well enough. That's something we need to fix.

"People we are bringing on aren't adding to it and giving impact. It's either status quo or negative.

"Our job is to fix that and try and get the maximum out of everybody because we could have had a bonus point if we had a bit more efficiency in Edinburgh."

The Dragons are without experienced duo Sam Hobbs (knee) and Lewis Evans (Achilles) at loosehead and the back row respectively but are set to be boosted for Friday's home clash with Connacht (kick-off 7.30pm) by the return of scrum-half Sarel Pretorius (calf) and last season's player of the year Ollie Griffiths in the back row.

Jackman was frustrated by a controversial decision by Scottish TMO Charles Samson to chalk off a Harri Keddie try at Myreside when he felt Hallam Amos' left boot was millimetres over the touchline.

However, the head coach knows that his side need to find a cutting edge after scoring just one try in two games, and that a penalty try against Leinster because of a high tackle on wing Ashton Hewitt.

"First 10 minutes we played with a lot of width but what is frustrating is that we are very loose with the ball when we get to the 22," said Jackman in Edinburgh.

"We make breaks and then it's all-or-nothing rather than being patient, so that's something we need to work on.

"The good thing is that we are creating opportunities but the big disappointment was that defensively we had seven or eight really bad reads or systems errors.

"But we will fix that and it's individuals having bad habits that haven't been worked out of their games yet."

Connacht go on their travels for the first time this season after a 18-12 loss to Glasgow on opening weekend and 32-10 success against Southern Kings on Saturday.