Hooker Elliot Dee was pleased to be back in action for Dragons in the Guinness PRO14 – but admitted lessons needed to be learnt from the defeat to Benetton Rugby.
Dee was a second half replacement at Rodney Parade and grabbed a try late in the game as the Italians ran out 37-25 winners.
The Wales international had endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines that had seen him miss Six Nations action and not play since the European win over Enisei-STM.
But the 26-year-old was able to prove his fitness after being released back by the national side for league action.
“It was great to be out there, nice to get 40 minutes under my belt after a frustrating couple of weeks on the sidelines,” he said.
“It was not ideal going into camp with a rib injury, and then trying my best to keep my fitness up and tearing my calf.
“It’s been quite frustrating to pick up two little niggles, but it was brilliant to get out there and be around some familiar faces at Rodney Parade.”
Reflecting on the defeat, that saw Dragons suffer a first home loss since November, Dee admitted the home side had contributed to their own downfall.
“We talked about it before the game and through the game, we knew that we had a couple of boys out with a few of the younger lads coming through,” he said.
“We didn’t get off to the best of starts and we talked about giving them piggybacks. They’ve got the best maul in the league so it’s a bit unintelligent from us giving a few penalties away and letting them get into the corners and use their attacking weapons really. We’ll push on and learn from here.
“We have a lot of games on the run-in, it would be nice to get some boys back over the next couple of weeks, some of them have done really well with Wales,” added Dee.
“We’re looking to put out as many performances as we can, we’re still building as a team and we’ll try to get as many wins as we can.”
Dragons are back in action on home soil on Saturday, April 11 (kick-off 7.35pm) when we face Ulster Rugby at Rodney Parade. To buy tickets for the fixture call 01633 674990 or click HERE
It was brilliant to get out there and be around some familiar faces at Rodney Parade...