DRAGONS chief Dean Ryan lauded back row ace Taine Basham following his man-of-the-match display in Saturday's dramatic 13-10 defeat of the Cheetahs.

Basham started the Guinness PRO14 showdown at openside having returned to his region on Thursday after being released from the Wales squad.

He was the Dragons’ standout performer against the South Africans, with his surging run setting up the position from which Jared Rosser scored the hosts’ only try.

Speaking afterwards, Ryan couldn’t hide his delight at how Basham has been coping with the switch between region and country.

“I think the big challenge for Taine is that when you’re in your first international camp, he’s coming backwards and forwards, getting huge highs of an international environment, running opposition plays from England and France, and then coming back on Friday to play for his club,” said Ryan.

“It’s a real challenge, a real emotional rollercoaster, so to get performances like that from a young man is incredibly impressive.

“He looked head and shoulders above everyone else today, you didn’t need to be a rugby enthusiast to understand who was man-of-the-match. Everyone in the stadium would have picked him.

“Full credit to the bumpy weeks he’s having and putting those performances in.”

Meanwhile, Ryan is also hopeful that fly-half Sam Davies, whose late penalty won Saturday’s match, will get his chance with Wales as Wayne Pivac could be facing problems at 10.

“It would give him a chance to play on a nice, dry pitch,” smiled Ryan.

“The last two weeks have been difficult for Sam, it hasn’t been a place to be a 10 and try to play some rugby.

“He won’t be selected or non-selected based on the last two weeks. Some of his kicking today kept us in really good field position.

“It wasn’t about being that precise, it was just about not making many mistakes and keeping pressure on. Sam did that better than most.”