THE Dragons hope that they can be 80-minute men to ensure the daring blueprint that troubled the Blues in Cardiff ends their long Guinness PRO14 derby drought on Boxing Day.

Bernard Jackman’s men aim to terminate a 17-game league losing streak against Welsh regions welcome their nearest foes to Rodney Parade on Tuesday (kick-off 2pm).

Their last triumph came at the Arms Park on Boxing Day, 2014 when their driving lineout earned a nervy 23-17 success in the capital.

They were dreaming of another win in Cardiff when leading 21-10 at the break in October thanks to super tries by wings Adam Warren and George Gasson and hooker Elliot Dee.

An impressive Blues fightback ensured the streak continued but the Dragons, who at least got a consolation bonus in the 43-29 defeat thanks to prop Lloyd Fairbrother’s late close range score, will adopt similar tactics on Boxing Day.

“We need a performance like the last time at the Arms Park,” said skills coach Barry Maddocks. “The boys have improved since then and are training exceptionally hard week to week in Ystrad Mynach.

“The attack is better, the forward pack are going extremely well, it’s just little errors that are hurting us but what is good is that the boys do respond and take learning from the games.

“They are responding really well and hopefully we will play a brand of rugby on Boxing Day that all the crowd will be happy with.

“It’s the brand of rugby that we as coaches want to play. We want to be entertaining and play with ball in hand, and we know that we are capable of doing that. It’s just a matter of us applying ourselves on the day.”

The Blues fixture is the biggest of the season in Newport and is swiftly followed by the visit of the Ospreys on New Year’s Eve.

The Dragons head into the festive derbies on the back of a frustrating 27-25 loss to Newcastle in the Challenge Cup that leaves them needing to double Bordeaux-Begles in January to make the last eight.

Head coach Bernard Jackman knows that they need to provide plenty of entertainment in front of bumper attendances.

“We are very excited about the derbies, we’ve been away to the Blues and Ospreys and now to get them back in a short period at home, I hope we get big crowds in,” he said.

“The fans will be disappointed with the loss [against Newcastle], and we are very disappointed, but I think they see a team that are digging in and showing a lot of heart and courage.”

“We will play [expansively] and we probably didn’t play enough against Newcastle,” he continued.

“We got dragged into a kick-battle and because we conceded 14 points so quickly we probably tried to play a bit of territory.

“Our natural game is high-tempo and I thought Hallam Amos looked dangerous back at full-back.

“We certainly want to play and we are doing a lot of fitness work to be able to play high-tempo.”