DRAGONS coach Luke Narraway will be looking for a reaction from his young charges in Dublin after slamming their performance in defeat to Ulster as their poorest of the Celtic Cup.

The Rodney Parade region were beaten 43-31 by the Irish province in Ystrad Mynach with a four-try bonus of little consolation to their boss.

Narraway, brought in by director of rugby Dean Ryan for the development competition, saw reason for encouragement in past rounds despite the Munster fixture in Newport being their only win.

But the former England number eight was in no mood for looking for the positives from their defeat to the Ulstermen.

"That was our poorest performance of the tournament, our accuracy was off and we lacked the snap that we have shown in all of our previous games," said Narraway, whose team face unbeaten champions Leinster at Donnybrook on Saturday afternoon.

"The overriding feeling is disappointment because that is not the side that we have seen in the last few weeks, regardless of the result. That performance wasn't us.

"We didn't have that energy or urgency. We were a little bit off it and slow, we didn't have that urgency to get around the corner and then that was compounded by poor decisions.

"I am sure I will watch it back and there will be certain aspects of that game that are pleasing. I am sure the highlights will look great, but we lost in the same manner as we did in the previous weeks."

The Dragons headed into the fixture on the back of losses to Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets in which their attacking intent earned four-try bonuses.

The crossed four times again against the Ulstermen but leaked six scores to lose a 17-12 half-time lead.

The Dragons showed battling spirit to keep reeling Ulster in just as they threatened to stretch clear but their defence was breached far too easily in the second half.

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They also paid the price a daft knee-drop at a breakdown by Taine Basham that earned him a yellow card in the first half and won't have gone unnoticed by director of rugby Dean Ryan, who watched on from the balcony at the region's training base.

The Dragons had started the sharper and were in front in the 12th minute when scrum-half Daf Buckland sniped after Basham and centre Connor Edwards had gone close.

Robson added the extras but then Basham, who was yellow-carded against the Scarlets because of cumulative Dragons offences, was sent to the sin bin.

The visitors made their numerical advantage count with a dashing counter-attack from turnover ball that ended with centre Ross Adair finishing off.

Robson made it 10-5 from the tee but Ulster were in front on the half hour for their second try while the Dragons' back rower was on the naughty step, blindside going over from close range for a try that fly-half Bruce Houston converted.

The hosts' scrum was on top in the first half and they made it count on the stroke of half-time when Ben Roach's decision to go for a set piece from five metres rather than the corner or the posts paid off with a penalty try.

But Ulster turned the game around by scoring the next two tries – wing Graham Curtis down the left and Adair going over far too easily from a move off a scrum.

At 26-17 the Dragons needed a response and got it when Robson's cute dink over the top was gathered by centre Aneurin Owen on the hour.

Adair went over for his hat-trick to make it 33-24 but Ulster could shake off the home side and wing Rio Dyer's nice break down the right saw full-back Will Talbot-Davies, who had been shifted to midfield after Edwards limped off, race over for a try that replacement fly-half Jacob Botica converted for 33-31.

That was as close as the Dragons got with Ulster's sixth, through wing Luke Pollock after a patient attack, secured the win before Houston kicked a penalty at the death.

Dragons XV: W Talbot-Davies, R Dyer, C Edwards, A Owen, J Goodchild, A Robson, D Buckland, J Cosgrove, E Shipp, C Coleman, E Scragg, M Williams, B Fry, B Roach (captain), T Basham.

Replacements: W Griffiths, J Reynolds, L Yendle, B Carter, G Price, D Babos, J Botica, C Penny.

Scorers: tries – D Buckland, penalty, A Owen, W Talbot-Davies; conversions – A Robson (2), J Botica; penalty – A Robson

Ulster scorers: tries – R Adair (3), A Hall, G Curtis, L Pollock; conversions – B Houston (5); penalty – B Houston