BOSS Dai Flanagan admits the Dragons have a big summer ahead to sort out their “messy” scrum – and he is confident they have the front rowers able to do it.

The Rodney Parade region endured a torrid time in the set piece when beaten 26-13 by the Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship.

The scrum was under pressure throughout and the Dragons ended with a penalty count of 20.

The previous week the Stormers took the lead in the final quarter and then stretched away to win 44-21 after loosehead Rodrigo Martinez was sin-binned in the 71st minute.

The Dragons have had a more solid scrum in recent seasons but the official URC stats rank them 15th – the Scarlets are the only team beneath them – with the pack ranked last for scrums won/lost, 15th for scrum won percentage (87), 12th for scrum penalties won (17) and 15th for scrum offences (49).

“We are clearly not doing something right,” said head coach Flanagan. “The more scrums that happen, the more we are penalised.

“We need to limit our error rate so that there are no so many scrums and sort our discipline so that there are not so many lineout mauls, because we defend one or two really well but by the tenth we are conceding penalties.

“There is a holistic side of things that I am keen to dive into because we have a lot of work to do in those areas, let’s not hide from that. We have a big summer to solve those areas.

South Wales Argus: The Dragons scrum against Wales in training at Principality StadiumThe Dragons scrum against Wales in training at Principality Stadium (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“I love the way that Mef [Davies] coaches our scrum, it’s very clean when we have referees in [for training] but then it comes to a game and it’s messy.

“We are doing something wrong and need to get to the source of it. In the last couple of weeks the amount of scrums that we have had have bitten us very hard.”

There are poised to be changes in the management team this summer with academy and Newport RFC coach Sam Hobbs, who has been helping out with the seniors this season, stepping up to forwards coach.

However, the Dragons have not yet added any front row forwards with Australian second rower Steve Cummin and blindside/lock Shane Lewis-Hughes the only tight five signings.

With Aki Seiuli released, Rhodri Jones, Martinez, Josh Reynolds, Dillan Kelleher-Griffiths and Wales Under-20s prop Jordan Thomas will be the options at loosehead.

Stalwart tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother, who is currently injury, will be on the books along with Chris Coleman and Luke Yendle.

Former Ospreys and Cardiff veteran Dmitri Arhip is on a short-term deal until the end of the season and it is likely to be extended while some sort of arrangement for injury-plagued Wales international Leon Brown could be thrashed out.

First-choice hooker Elliot Dee will be backed up by Brodie Coghlan, James Benjamin, Sam Scarfe and new signing Oli Burrows.

“We have some fantastic front rowers and have some very good kids coming through, especially at loosehead,” said Flanagan.