THE Dragons suffered another away loss in the Guinness PRO14 at Edinburgh. Here are the talking points from the 34-17 defeat at Murrayfield…


Former boss Bernard Jackman frequently spoke about the need for the Dragons to first become hard to beat on the road if they are to get themselves in a position to end their away losing streak in the PRO14 (now at 40 games and almost four years).

The scoreline suggests that five-try Edinburgh had things pretty easy at Murrayfield but the reality is that the Dragons frustrated their hosts.

There was exasperation in the home coaching box behind the press benches for most of the first half and much of the second.

A frequent complaint towards referee Andrew Brace was that the Dragons weren't rolling away quick enough - slowing down the Edinburgh home ruck represents a job well done.

The Dragons did a fine job to go into half-time 17-14 up – with centre Tyler Morgan looking sharp – and then clung on after the break, although their failure to throw a few shots caught up with them.

Edinburgh got their five points but it wasn’t easy for the play-off hopefuls, and it hasn’t always been possible to say that away from home in the league.


It is a familiar lament for the Dragons but they were outmuscled in the final quarter by the Scots.

Edinburgh put the squeeze on with their strong runners and heavy units and their visitors eventually cracked.

The Dragons’ put themselves under pressure in the second half by playing far too much rugby in their own territory and the tackle count caught up with them.

They felt the absence of players that can shift the moment like Leon Brown, Brandon Nansen and their Wales contingent…

South Wales Argus: BEATEN: The Dragons after the final whistleBEATEN: The Dragons after the final whistle


Nobody was expecting Ross Moriarty, surely a starter against England, to be on the list of players released for regional duty by Wales on Wednesday afternoon.

The same applied for lock Cory Hill, hooker Elliot Dee and flanker Aaron Wainwright, who are hoping for bench roles in the title clash at Principality Stadium, while Leon Brown is not yet fit for a return from his broken thumb.

But it would have been a huge boost for the Dragons to be given the services of Hallam Amos given that he didn’t feature in Paris, he played just 13 minutes in Rome and is unlikely to be in the 23 to face the English.

In fact, the wing/full-back probably would have liked the chance to stretch his legs and show Warren Gatland and Rob Howley what he can do.

The presence of Amos is unlikely to have turned defeat in Edinburgh into victory, but it would have given the Dragons a better shot.

Meanwhile, Richard Cockerill’s 23 was boosted by Six Nations squad members Darcy Graham, Chris Dean, Ben Toolis and Luke Crosbie, plus Magnus Bradbury on his return from injury that could lead to a call-up from Gregor Townsend.


It spoke volumes that caretaker boss Ceri Jones didn’t turn to his bench in the narrow 8-7 loss to Munster at Rodney Parade.

The only player he brought on was lock Lewis Evans, who also appeared early in the second half in Edinburgh.

Against Munster the Dragons were helped by the horrendous conditions, which slowed the game down and meant it wasn’t a lung-buster.

In Edinburgh the Dragons needed a lift in the final quarter but didn’t get one, or couldn’t get one.

It was only in the closing stages when the game was gone that Jones brought on replacement props Rhys Fawcett and Dan Suter and hooker Rhys Lawrence. The same went for full-back Zane Kirchner and scrum-half Rhodri Davies.

Gavin Henson was called into action when Jarryd Sage limped off but the former Wales playmaker had little impact.

The Dragons aren’t blessed with the biggest of squads but they need to somehow find a way of adding some oomph in the crucial closing stages.


Benetton are a fine side but they will be without their sizeable Italy contingent and are not quite as strong as Edinburgh.

If the Dragons can repeat the first half effort from Murrayfield, when they posed a few more questions in attack, then they can give themselves something to hang on to in the closing stages at the Stadio Monigo.

Then it will become a battle of the mind as well as the body, and the Dragons desperately need to kill mentions of their embarrassing away streak.

If not in Treviso then it has to happen in Swansea or South Africa.