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Inaccuracy hurting Dragons - Roberts

09/01/2021

Centre Jamie Roberts admitted inaccuracies had undermined Dragons as they slipped to a 28-20 defeat to Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14 at Rodney Parade.

Roberts impressed throughout the league encounter and scored on his return to the starting line-up, after missing the New Year’s Day game at Scarlets.

However, he was left frustrated alongside his team-mates as Dean Ryan’s men fell to a third derby defeat of the festive period.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Roberts. “It was not good enough in the first half hour, our kicking game was poor and our chase was poor.

“They have a very good back three, we identified that before the game, with good footwork.

“You’ve either got to kick long or kick to compete and our kicks were that really dangerous middle ground and it brought them onto the ball.

“Our defence wasn’t good enough and they got good gains in that first half hour.

“That first ten minutes of the second half we really wanted to score a try and we couldn’t do it.

“When you are putting that much pressure on and you can’t convert it into points it is hard. Then bang, one lineout and they score a seven-pointer.

“It is tough at the minute,” he added. “The lads are giving it everything, but we are just not helping ourselves with our inaccuracy in our game.

“It is accuracy at this level. Small things, that sometimes people might not think are important, can be hugely important, especially when you play against quality players.

“They had quality tonight and some of our kicks are maybe a tiny bit too far and with that disjointed chase line it hurt us.

“They game managed that first half hour. Matt Protheroe played well, George (North) as well and Luke (Morgan) on the wing.

“If you put them in space, with their footwork, they are dangerous players.”

Reflecting on the derby period, Roberts admitted he cannot wait for the day crowds return to stadiums to generate that special buzz.

“I’m enjoying it here - and cannot wait to play in front of crowds again,” he stated.

“I have memories of this place as a kid bouncing with crowds and I’m sure all the players across Wales cannot wait for that moment when they are back. Rugby is very different at the minute.”

And as for his time at Dragons, the former Wales international has urged his team-mates to stay honest and keep growing.

“I am enjoying it. It is taking time and we have got to be patient with it,” he said.

“The group is growing and we have got to be more honest with our critique and keep moving forward.

“Fingers crossed Europe goes ahead next week, there is some chat around that, but we keep going. It is frustrating, but we must keep growing.”

The lads are giving it everything, but we are just not helping ourselves with our inaccuracy in our game...
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