BOSS Dean Ryan and captain Rhodri Williams believe the Dragons are heading in the right direction despite ending the season with four successive losses in the Guinness Rainbow Cup.

The Rodney Parade region rounded off their 2020/21 campaign against Leinster last Friday, slipping to a 38-7 defeat to the Irish province at the Royal Dublin Showground.

After a 52-32 victory over the Scarlets on home soil in their Rainbow Cup opener, Ryan’s men were beaten by Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors before the Leinster rout.

However, both director of rugby Ryan and skipper Williams are confident strides have been made and that there is reason for hope going into next season.

“The Rainbow Cup has been useful for us,” said Ryan. “We have seen some youngsters really develop in it.

“We have much less resource than a place like this (Leinster) so we have to create opportunities for them to come in and they have to be prepared to learn.

“Friday was one of those days that will be a bit tougher than some, but that is the space that you need them to be in. Their growth is where the success of the region will move on.”

He added: “Ben Carter, playing against that sort of calibre and quality, calling lineouts for only the third time, it was probably a big lesson for him.

“But every time he has faced that before he has come back better so that is a great experience for him.

“We are going in the right direction, but we have got to accept where we are at the current time with the resource we have.”

Scrum-half Williams, while also impressed with the region’s youngsters, insists there must be more accountability within the squad.

“As a squad, we need to be accountable,” he said. “There were plenty of errors out there and we need to look through them and learn from them.

“We can’t be doing the same mistakes over and over again, that is four defeats and some of the mistakes are the same.”

He added: “Taine Basham was outstanding, Ioan (Davies) came on and did well, Aneurin (Owen) again and I think Dean spoke about Ben Carter up against international second rows. We are growing but we need to start putting the negatives right.

“I feel that we are 100 per cent moving in the right direction, we are developing players like those who shone in Dublin and are a big part in the future of this region, but it is a collective.

“You can’t just have a few players shining, we need to start performing as a team and it falls back again to being accountable.

“We need to be accountable and we need to start turning those negatives into positives next season.”

l Connor Chapman, Joe Peard, Morgan Richards, Carrick McDonnough and Will Reed are in the Wales U20 squad for the upcoming Six Nations.