DEAN Ryan says the Dragons need to channel their emotion if they are to get Rodney Parade rocking against the Scarlets.

The festive derby period kicks off with a Guinness PRO14 clash against the west Walians in Newport tonight (kick-off 5.15pm), with a Boxing Day trip to Cardiff Blues and home encounter with the Ospreys on January 4 to come.

Ryan has experienced feisty west country derbies with Bristol and Gloucester and is relishing the run of Welsh duels.

The Dragons head into the fixtures in fine fettle thanks to a stirring win against Worcester that gives them a great shot at qualification for the European Challenge Cup.

Now they are hunting derby delight that would send a signal to their nearest rivals that strides are being made in the east.

Ryan is ready to harness the power of a Welsh battle – but knows his players need to keep a cool head.

South Wales Argus:

"Derbies are great for the fans, especially over the Christmas period. They heighten the excitement around a game and the challenge then is to moderate your emotions and get things right," said the director of rugby.

"The coaching role is to keep people calm and focused because there is a lot of emotion in play when you know the other bloke so well.

"It's important that you prepare well and get as much clarity over what it is you are trying to do. You shouldn't hide from the emotion, it's key, but you need to ally it with clarity.

"You have got to be careful to not make it all about the emotion of a derby. What we got to is the team in a good space with a good understanding of what we are trying to do to so that we can give it our best shot over three weeks."

The Dragons sent 4,000 supporters home happy after beating Worcester last weekend with their tenacity earning the loud backing of the home faithful.

"We talked about it on Monday morning, it was the first time that I've really heard Rodney Parade get behind the side," said Ryan.

"Crowds are about relationships – when people understand how much you are giving on the field then they will get behind you.

"It's not always about winning, fundamental to the relationship is that they understand how hard you are working.

"We got glimmers of that last weekend when the crowd sparked to life and made a difference in a game that had pretty small margins in terms of who won and lost."

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons entertain the Scarlets in Newport for the first time since 2013 and are aiming to repeat last season's Judgement Day upset.

"The Scarlets have got great willingness to play and put width on the ball. They have got real clarity over the system that gets them into that really quickly," said Ryan.

"They have a lot of Test boys that have been away and have come back and integrated into that, so they have real quality and experience."

"It will be a big test because they pride themselves on good start points at scrum and lineout, then they have real talent in playing out wide with Johnny McNicholl a real threat.

"Getting the ball wide is something they are well known for so it will be a big test."