THE Dragons’ draw at the Ospreys on Sunday means that they cannot be overtaken by their rivals from the Liberty Stadium – but boss Dean Ryan isn’t bothered by avoiding being Wales’ worst team.

The Rodney Parade region had finished as the lowest-ranked Welsh team in 12 of 16 seasons before Ryan took the helm last summer.

The last time they had avoided the ignominy of propping up the pile was in 2015 when Cardiff Blues finished beneath them.

Had the 14-man Ospreys managed to hang on for victory on Sunday afternoon then they would have kept alive their hopes of overhauling the Dragons, who finish against the Scarlets on Saturday.

Instead Ashton Hewitt’s last-gasp leveller means the pressure is, to an extent, off Ryan’s men on final weekend and they can plot towards the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol on September 18.

South Wales Argus:

But the director of rugby insisted he wasn’t bothered by the table when asked by the Argus if it was nice to ensure a finish above the Ospreys.

“Not really. I am not interested,” said Ryan. “I am just interested in us getting better. The Ospreys had some real challenges last year, so that doesn’t mean anything.

“When I first came people said ‘if you win four games…’, but if five teams play really badly against us then what does that mean?

“It’s about us getting better, it’s about us being more competitive, it’s about us looking at how far we can travel as a group.

“Referencing against other people just doesn’t do anything for me.”


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Ryan's comments continue his mantra since arriving at Rodney Parade last summer.

The former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss has always said he is focused on the long term rather than chasing quick results.

Nonetheless, the Dragons have repeated their 2018/19 tally of five wins and a draw from 14 games compared to 21.

They won two and drew two in a testing 2017/18 and enjoyed four wins in the two seasons before that.

Lyn Jones led the Dragons to eight wins from 22 fixtures in 2014/15, the last time they finished above a Welsh rival.