EIGHTY sobering minutes at Trud Stadium in Krasnodar in 2016 mean that there is little danger of Dragons back row forward Harri Keddie taking things for granted at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

The region looked poised for a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup, either as Pool One winners of one of three best runners-up, as long as they win with a bonus point against Enisei-STM in Newport (kick-off 8pm).

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It will be a monumental shock if Dean Ryan’s men fail to achieve their objective against the Russians, who are pointless and have lost all 14 of the away games in Europe.

However, their battling displays against group leaders Castres in December, when edged out 28-12 and 22-10, serve as a warning… not that the Dragons need one.

In October, 2016 they were humbled in Krasnodar when Enisei ran out 38-18 winners, running in five tries, while two years ago they limited the damage to 15-0 in Newport.

The loss in Russia was a first start in regional rugby for back row forward Keddie, meaning the 23-year-old from Llanvaches won’t rock up at Rodney Parade expecting a turkey shoot.

South Wales Argus:

“Despite some of their scores they have stuck in there for large periods of games only for teams to pull away in the last 20 or 30 minutes,” he said.

“They are a hard team to break down and you can’t expect to just turn up, put your boots on and be guaranteed the four tries and a bonus point win.

“You have to work hard and stick to your framework, otherwise they will come away with points and punish you.”

Keddie and his fellow forwards will be to the fore against Enisei’s heavy pack, with the Russians’ bulk meaning the tempo has to be high.

“They are a pretty big team, they rely a lot on the power game and getting on the front foot through their forwards and their scrum and maul,” said Keddie.

“We need to nullify that and impose our style on them because they are quite a difficult team to play against if you get pulled into their type of game with the big power plays.

“We will take the learnings from going up against a big pack in Castres last weekend and we have to put tempo on the game with penalties and lineouts.

“You always get a chance within a game to implement a fast period of play. Hopefully we can get them turning and get a bit of speed in the game.”

South Wales Argus:

Toulon’s win against the Scarlets in Llanelli last week means the Dragons are in good shape to make the last eight, as long as there isn't a freakish result at Sixways with Castres claiming two bonuses in defeat.

“To be able to have an opportunity to forward to the next stage of the competition is massive for us," said Keddie, who was in the academy when the Dragons made the quarters in 2015 and 2016.

“It would be great for the club and personally to be involved in a quarter-final, because a lot of us here haven’t experienced knockout rugby.

“The last few years we have had those breaks when we haven’t been involved so it would be great to keep things alive and keep pushing forward.

“Europe is different to the week in, week out – especially when you play French sides – and it’s a good challenge and a nice change.”