FOR once the Dragons are relieved to have the Sunday graveyard shift – it means they will know what is needed by the time they take to the field against the Sharks (kick-off 5.30pm, live on Viaplay).

The Rodney Parade club will watch the Saturday Challenge Cup results with interest, hoping for results to go their way.

There is a slim chance that they will kick off against the Sharks, who are fuelled by earning knockout rugby in Durban, with the possibility of earning a home tie in the last 16.

More realistically, it might be the case that a consolation bonus will suffice to make it to the knockout stages.

Dragons boss Dai Flanagan will get his head around what is needed before heading for Rodney Parade and will then inform a select group of leaders how that will influence the approach.

They will be hunting a victory but captain Steff Hughes and other senior figures will also be educated about other possibilities.

South Wales Argus: POSTS? The boot of Dragons full-back Cai Evans will be key, whether hunting victory or a bonusPOSTS? The boot of Dragons full-back Cai Evans will be key, whether hunting victory or a bonus (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We don't need to tell everyone everything. The easiest solution for us is to win whatever happens elsewhere,” said Flanagan.

“There will be conversations and interventions from me if needed during the game about what we need. It's helpful being last.”

In 1996 Manchester City famously kept the ball in the corner in the mistaken belief that a draw would be enough to avoid relegation. It wasn’t and it didn’t.

Such mishaps shouldn’t come into the equation on Sunday but it could mean the Dragons boot the ball off if they are down by six points with the clock in the red deep in their own territory.

However, there would be some reluctance to do so given that they take on the Sharks after beating the Ospreys, Oyonnax and Scarlets in Newport.

“We are going out to win. We've won our last three at Rodney Parade and it's a big opportunity for us,” said Flanagan.

“We have spoken about the importance of giving our fans stuff to cheer about, and this is another opportunity to do that.”

The Dragons last won four on the spin in Newport in 2019/20 when Dean Ryan’s side hit five successive triumphs thanks to beating Worcester, the Scarlets, Ospreys, Enisei-STM and the Cheetahs.