DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan said his side reaped the rewards for their resilience in their stunning derby win against the Scarlets.

The Rodney Parade region took the spoils in the Newport rain thanks to Sam Davies’ last-minute drop goal.

They trailed 17-16 at half-time after scrum-half Rhodri Williams responded to Scarlets tries by Gareth Davies and Ken Owens.

The Dragons nudged in front through Davies late on only for Leigh Halfpenny to respond and for the home fly-half to miss from the tee.

But they kept their composure to deny the Guinness PRO14 play-off hopefuls thanks to their number 10’s drop goal with penalty advantage.

“I am just really pleased for the lads,” said director of rugby Ryan. “It was one of those games where there wasn’t a huge amount of rugby to be played and you just have to stay in it.

“I thought that the miss from Sam was going to come back to bite us, or even go back further with a missed opportunity down the left flank when we should have got in.

“Over the last three or four weeks the group has grown a lot from experiences, and we have played a lot on wet nights.

“You just have to stay in those games, wait and have a good set piece; once again I thought that the entry of the lads off the bench, every position, added impetus rather than detracting.

“That is a massive positive for us because it keeps us all the way until the end, and it mattered tonight.”

Ryan, who succeeded Bernard Jackman last summer, has been keen to stress that he won’t judge the Dragons on the week-to-week.

However, the boss wasn’t going to downplay the importance of a derby win for his hard-working players.

“You know that I am going to tell you that it’s about the long-term but at the same time if you’ve had some tough times here then you deserve some good times,” said Ryan. “That’s all it is, if you put a shift in you deserve some good times.”

The Dragons head to Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day before entertaining the Ospreys on January 4.