CLOSE but no cigar: the story of our February.

Hopefully that will change when we take on Glasgow at Rodney Parade this evening but the Guinness Pro12 table could be looking so different.

Since our win against Leinster we have narrowly lost to Ulster, Connacht and Treviso, having to settle for a losing bonus point on all three occasions.

We’ve come in for a fair bit of criticism and I guess that we deserve a bit of flak because it’s not good enough – we should be closing out these games.

It comes down to having a winning mentality and the winning mindset has not been a habit over the years.

A team like the Ospreys would probably would have ground those games out and been enjoying three tight wins instead of being annoyed at three narrow defeats.

We say all the time about learning from our mistakes and I hope that we can change the perception of the Dragons soon for the sake of the academy boys who are the next generation of Dragons.

The likes of Ollie Griffiths, Elliot Dee, Angus O’Brien and Ashton Hewitt are the future of the region and if they are to get where they want to be in terms of international honours then there needs to be a winning mindset at the Dragons.

At times in sport you almost need the self-belief (with a little bit of arrogance) that you are just going to win. We have to be more ruthless.

Sometimes in the past we have revelled with the underdog tag and yet when we deserve the favourite tag, we can buckle under the pressure. That has to change. We need to revel in being favourites while keeping the work ethic that can come with being an underdog.

Last Friday’s loss in Treviso was hard to take.

It had been a good preparation to the game walking around the city with the sun shining on a crisp February afternoon. The warm-up was good and we had a game plan to attack them and spread the ball around.

Yet when returning to the field just before kick-off we were greeted by a gale-force wind and torrential rain.

We didn’t adapt quickly enough but we still had our chances to win it. Angus O’Brien was unlucky at the end when his drop goal hit both posts – on a better day with nicer footing he would have put it over – but we shouldn’t have been in a position of needing a score at the death. We have got to get better at turning our pressure into points earlier on in the game.

South Wales Argus:

After the frustration of a loss in shocking conditions in Italy I just got back in time to be greeted by the same conditions at Rodney Parade.

Thankfully I was in the stand viewing in comfort from upon high for Newport RFC’s game against Bridgend after the pitch was passed fit – the only game in the Principality Premiership to go ahead.

The boys put in a great effort to win with a bonus point, sending us back to the top of the table. It was a masterclass in game management from Matt O’Brien, Angus’ older brother, and a real dogged performance from the whole squad.

It’s great to be back on top of the pile but there’s no danger of anyone getting carried away – we know that we need to back up that win and performance when we are next in action in the league.