THE Dragons haven’t ripped up the plan in panic despite going into tonight’s derby with the Ospreys after a winless start to the United Rugby Championship.

The Rodney Parade club could desperately do with repeating last season’s stunning win over their Welsh rivals in Newport after a nightmare start to the campaign.

The Dragons wasted a strong position in the final quarter against Edinburgh on opening weekend, failed to fire against Cardiff and then suffered heavy losses to Irish big guns Munster and Leinster.

They head into round five with just the Sharks beneath them in the table but head coach Dai Flanagan hasn't changed the plan in panic ahead of this evening (kick-off 5.15pm). 

“Hit a rock a thousand times and eventually it will crack,” he said. “We have to trust in what we are trying to achieve.

“We’ve had two games that were massive missed opportunities, we are aware of that, but we have to believe in what we are doing.

“We need to stay tight, we are going in the right direction and we are going to get there.

“There's no need to panic. We need to make sure when the opportunities come again in the next block we take them.

“That will only happen by not panicking and not changing everything, by having belief and tweaking some things.”

South Wales Argus: Sio Tomkinson on the charge for the Dragons against the Ospreys in pre-seasonSio Tomkinson on the charge for the Dragons against the Ospreys in pre-season (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The Dragons are underdogs against the Ospreys, who look likely to be Wales’ top side this season.

However, that was the case last season when Flanagan’s men enjoyed a 32-25 triumph at a rocking Rodney Parade.

“It was a great day and I liked our energy and how we moved the ball. We need to replicate that,” said Flanagan.

“We need to get back to expressing ourselves, enjoying what we do and backing each other, which is what we did well in pre-season.”

The Dragons edged out the Ospreys in a friendly before the start of the URC but Toby Booth’s side have started the season strongly.

They beat Zebre and the Sharks while they rallied to push Connacht in Galway and were beaten at the death by Glasgow.

“They are really collectively organised. Against the Sharks, in London in the rain, they were hard to break down,” said Flanagan, a former Ospreys fly-half.

“The Ospreys are renowned for their fight, they had their 'Galacticos' period and now they have a group of youngsters who sum up the Neath, Port Talbot, Swansea area as people.

“They fight for everything and are led really well by people like Tipuric and Jac Morgan.”

The Dragons are hunting a first competitive win in Newport since beating Zebre in October 2022, a run of eight defeats.