PAINFUL moments like Friday’s agonising late penalty miss in a narrow derby defeat will be the making of talented fly-half Will Reed, says his Dragons boss.

The 20-year-old from Cwmbran has caught the eye for the Rodney Parade region when starting at 10 against a pair of seasoned Wales internationals in the United Rugby Championship run-in.

Reed went up against Gareth Anscombe in his first professional start at the Ospreys then lined up versus Rhys Priestland in Friday’s 19-18 defeat to Cardiff.

The youngster, who helped Newport RFC win the Premiership Cup and finish second in the league, had a chance to snatch victory in the 80th minute but his long-range penalty drifted a yard wide.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan is confident that it will be a case of short-term pain, long-term gain for the playmaker.

South Wales Argus: PROMISING: Dragons fly-half Will ReedPROMISING: Dragons fly-half Will Reed

“It’s not about Will Reed this week, it’s not about Will Reed this season, it’s about Will Reed over the next couple of years,” said Ryan.

“He will kick plenty of goals and he will miss plenty, that’s what it’s about. I really wanted him to have some experiences at this level and he will be better for them, that’s exactly what we want.

“His attitude to getting better and his competitive nature will mean that experience makes him better.

“I have no issues about it, there will be plenty of those and in some ways the sooner he gets them the better because he can get out the other end.

“He just needs bucketloads of experiences, simple as that. He has a responsibility to keep trying to get better and has lots of people around him that keep giving him their view, which is great.

“He has got to keep putting them into experiences which are sometimes good and sometimes bumpy.”

Reed has made strides this season thanks to playing alongside Dragons academy coach Matt O’Brien at Newport, with the skipper shifting to 12 to accommodate the up-and-comer.

More learning in black and amber is likely in 2022/23 despite his impressive end to the campaign by the bright prospect, who also went up against Springboks Morne Steyne and Curwin Bosch off the bench in South Africa.

South Wales Argus: LIVELY: Will Reed skips around Rhys PriestlandLIVELY: Will Reed skips around Rhys Priestland

“Sometimes you are the best player out there and sometimes you feel out your depth, it’s how you adapt to those moments,” said Ryan.

“There are so many things in this game that change – I am nearly 56 and still see things I have never seen before – so he is showing a lot of maturity to be at the helm at 10 when so young.

“If you don’t have the bumpy moments then you know that they are coming, they come for everybody no matter how fast your rise is.

“It’s how you deal with them and I don’t think the Cardiff game was a bumpy one for him, he played pretty well.

“He will feel he could have done better but that’s where he will be in the coming week, trying to work out how to get better.”

Reed and Sam Davies are poised to share the duties against the Lions on Saturday before they are joined for next season by Clermont playmaker JJ Hanrahan and Angus O’Brien, who is returning to the Dragons to challenge at 10 and 15.