BERNARD Jackman said he had to bring Luke Garrett and Nicky Thomas off after just 25 minutes of the hammering at the Scarlets to save the Dragons props from yellow cards.

The Rodney Parade region endured a horrendous night in Llanelli when beaten 47-13 by the Guinness PRO14 champions, shipping seven tries to the west Walians.

It was a torrid night for all players but especially loosehead Garrett and tighthead Thomas, who were substituted in the first half on their return to the Scarlets.

The home front row of Wales internationals Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Samson Lee gave the Dragons a torrid time in the scrum and forced the management to ring the changes when the score was 7-3.

“The scrum was poor and sometimes when you get on the wrong side of the referee the next step is a yellow card,” said Jackman.

“The way the game was going we were struggling with 15, so we certainly didn’t want to go to 14.

“It was early in the game and you are allowed to make those changes tactically and if there was an injury then we could bring the two lads back on, but the scrum settled down second half and wasn’t the issue it was in the first half.”

The Dragons suffered their 20th league derby defeat on the spin after tries by flanker James Davies, wing Tom Prydie, fly-half Dan Jones, scrum-half Aled Davies, flanker Will Boyde and Aaron Shingler and replacement fly-half Rhys Jones.

Sarel Pretorius scored at the death for the visitors but it was a grim night in Llanelli.

“It was a very tough night, when we picked the team we were pretty apprehensive about it,” said Jackman.

“Every reasonable person understands that we don’t have much depth. We’ve never had our best XV – and that doesn’t happen any more in rugby – but to have the quality of players that we have injured is very difficult.

“I’ve never seen anything like it with twelve starters out, then we go to the next level down and even those are injured.

“In fairness I thought that the youngsters did really well, it was the senior players who made more errors.

“The players are a bit shocked but that’s the level. We didn’t build any phases, our handling was poor, there wasn’t any area of our game that was good and our kicking was horrendous.”