THE Dragons enjoyed a seven-try victory against Zebre in the Guinness PRO14. Here are the talking points from the clash in Parma…


The Dragons’ shocking away record in the PRO14 has been well-documented and they have wasted plenty of chances to end it, most notably their Edinburgh collapse in 2017, the last-gasp loss to Zebre the following year and their poor display at the Kings last season.

The players and management insisted that they didn’t talk about the streak – and few of them have been there long enough to experience all of the frustrating failures – but it had to be impacting on them.

South Wales Argus: TRY TIME: Harri Keddie powers overTRY TIME: Harri Keddie powers over

Finally getting over the line was essential in Parma and success should get rid of any tension and free them up on the road now.

READ MORE: The match report from the Dragons' win in Parma

Games will be tougher than Zebre but there is no reason why the Dragons shouldn’t enjoy more victory songs in the away changing room this season.


The Dragons have made no secret of their desire to play high tempo rugby this season and the dry conditions of Parma were far more favourable than the rain of Limerick.

The speed with which Sam Davies was kicking penalties to touch was noticeable – the visitors didn’t want to hang around.

They turned down three-pointers, shifted the ball and kept their foot down. That approach paid off against Zebre, whose legs tired after spending 50 minutes down to 14 men.

It has to be said that the Italians were poor but the Dragons reaped the rewards of their attacking intent.

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It turned into a one-sided romp but the Dragons had to respond to an abysmal start that saw Zebre go 14-0 up after Rhodri Williams had gifted an interception try.

The response to that score needed to be swift and it was – thanks to a strong scrum.

A penalty was earned and kicked to the corner that would eventually lead to a penalty try.

The Dragons scrummaged strongly at Munster on opening weekend and were dominant in Parma, although it must be noted that Zebre were forced into late changes because of World Cup call-ups.


Leon Brown was at the heart of the scrummaging effort while he was also influential with ball in hand, most notably when hammering to within a metre to allow Rhodri Williams to snipe over.

The tighthead just needs to get minutes under his belt after his World Cup disappointment, game time that will allow him to learn more dark arts to go along with his big ball carrying.

Brown is a fantastic prospect and the way that he has responded in the first two weeks of the campaign is hugely encouraging.

Fingers crossed the big man can stay fit and hit 20 appearances this season.

South Wales Argus: RUNNING FREE: Taine Basham goes clearRUNNING FREE: Taine Basham goes clear


The Dragons have picked up five precious points on the road and now have the chance to make it a superb start to the season.

Connacht are next up in Newport on Friday night and then Glasgow visit at the end of the month, although Japan could well ensure the Scottish internationals are available!

Two home games on the spin presents a golden chance for the Dragons to really build up a head of steam at the start of the Dean Ryan era.

The director of rugby says he can’t afford to be results-driven at the start of his reign, but wins make the rebuilding job easier.