DAI Flanagan says the Dragons need to put the heat on each other in derby week after once again going to pieces in a pressure situation.

The Rodney Parade club suffered a home defeat in their United Rugby Championship opener against Edinburgh despite leading for 70 minutes.

They struck early through centre Sio Tomkinson and went 14-0 up inside the first quarter when wing Corey Baldwin went over on debut.

However, they gradually lost control and the Scots took the spoils 22-17 thanks to a Ben Vellacott try after 65 minutes then the boot of Scotland fly-half Ben Healy.

The Dragons need to change the record and will aim to end a year-long wait for a Rodney Parade triumph when they host fiercest rivals Cardiff on Sunday.

They haven’t beaten the men from the Arms Park since the 2015 European Challenge Cup quarter-final win – a losing streak of 15 games, 10 of them narrow.

“It’s derby week and we need to look hard at ourselves because this can’t keep repeating. We spoke about it a lot in the 26 weeks off and thought we had got over it,” said head coach Flanagan, whose side edged friendlies against the Ospreys and Scarlets.

“This was a big test of that and we haven’t got over it, so it’s how we react to this. The benefit of what we do is that there is another game next week.

“Cardiff is the game that everyone wants to play in so selection will be tough this week. We expect a performance next week.”

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dai FlanaganDragons boss Dai Flanagan (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The Dragons led from the second minute until Healy slotted a penalty with 72 on the clock.

Last season Flanagan’s men beat Munster, the Ospreys and Zebre in the first block in Newport but also suffered narrow home defeats to the Sharks, Cardiff, Pau, the Lions and Connacht.

“It's about how we train and how we stress ourselves,” said Flanagan. “We had two decent hit-outs and got through it but this was another pressure situation that we haven't coped with.

“We've got to put some heat on each other and dust ourselves down because we have got a big derby.”

The Dragons are set to be without Wales full-back Cai Evans against Cardiff after the debutant went off for a head injury assessment after a blow in the build-up to Vellacott’s try.

The summer signing from the Ospreys received lengthy treatment on the pitch and, while he returned for the post-match handshakes, it looks unlikely that he will face the Blue and Blacks.

The Dragons could move Angus O’Brien to 15 and start with Will Reed at fly-half or they could bring Jordan Williams into the XV.

Cardiff also suffered a narrow defeat on opening weekend despite leading 19-3 in the first half against Benetton.

The Italians took the spoils thanks to Jacob Umaga’s penalty after a horrendous high shot by prop Ciaran Parker, which led to a red card and should mean a lengthy suspension for the replacement tighthead.