RHODRI Williams says fingers should be pointed at the Dragons players and not the coaching staff after their derby nightmare in Cardiff.

The Rodney Parade club were humiliated 55-21 at the Arms Park on Boxing Day, conceding seven of nine tries in an embarrassing first half.

The crushing defeat has increased the pressure on head coach Dai Flanagan with the Dragons bottom of the United Rugby Championship with just one win to their name.

However, Williams believes it is the players that deserve to cop the flak after the Arms Park display, in which the visitors missed 30 tackles and allowed 17 clean breaks according to URC stats.

“The frustrating part is that we had a very good week and came into the game very confident,” said the scrum-half.

“All our prep was spot-on and the coaches put us in a good place to put our right foot forward but for some reason we didn’t start well at all.

“We didn’t see it coming. It was tough and it was unacceptable from us as a group.

South Wales Argus: Cardiff's Tomos Williams grapples with Dragons scrum-half Rhodri WilliamsCardiff's Tomos Williams grapples with Dragons scrum-half Rhodri Williams (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“That first half was down to the XV on the field. We had a good week of training and we felt very good coming into the game.

“To be fair to Cardiff, they were good but we have to front up a lot better and stop the momentum.

“We will look back at the details but it wasn’t good enough from 1 to 15, we need to find fixes and it was down to individual errors.”

The Dragons don’t have long to lick their wounds with a fast turnaround to Monday’s Rodney Parade derby against the Scarlets in Newport.

Williams and the rest of the starters from Cardiff are sweating on their spots and would love a shot at redemption.

“We have to be honest with each other and we have another derby on New Year’s Day, so we have to put things right quickly,” he said.

“It helps having another derby so soon but we have to take our learnings from that and look at it very closely to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It was tough in the changing room as you would imagine – it was 55 points against local rivals. The players on the field let the region down and we have to put things right.

“It’s not good enough and we have to be honest with each other while sticking together.”