Ryan: We take momentum into Europe


Boss Dean Ryan believes his Dragons can go into the European showdown with Northampton Saints in high spirits and with momentum after a positive March.

Dragons return to Newport and Rodney Parade to face Saints in the knockout clash on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 5.30pm).

Ryan’s men go into the game on the back of successive victories in the Guinness PRO14 over Scottish opposition and a successful spell at Principality Stadium.

And the Director of Dragons Rugby hopes his team can now show that form as they come up against a free-flowing Northampton side that have also impressed in recent weeks.

“I have spoken a lot that we lost momentum after the first Glasgow game and then we went into Europe, Covid and everything else,” said Ryan.

“We never really got it back until we played Leinster at home, we started to get a bit of momentum again. I was really pleased with the game with Ulster and also Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“Results are just one part of that assessment, but I feel we have been travelling much better in recent weeks.

“It’s a game we are looking forward to playing,” he added. “We got deprived of it, in some ways, in the Champions Cup.

“For us to qualify in it and play against the best sides was a great opportunity. It’s about experiences for this group, so they can continue to get better.

“To have that taken away from us before the Wasps game was difficult. We coped with it, we played on and other people got experiences, but it wasn’t our main guys that had the opportunity to be on that stage.

“This is now the last go at it and we want to make the most of it.”

The fixture will see Dragons back at Rodney Parade after a three-week break and Ryan is pleased to be coming home for such a huge encounter.

“Let’s remember we are playing without fans, so the backdrop of the Principality Stadium has been fantastic and it’s given Rodney Parade a chance to recover,” he said.

“Rodney Parade is special because of the fans, so when they are not there the opportunity to travel was great for us.

“We go home now and it is definitely a more comfortable feel so it’s a game that we are happy to be back at Rodney Parade for.”

I feel we have been travelling much better in recent weeks... It’s a game we are looking forward to playing,..
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