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Ryan: We needed more control

15/01/2022

Boss Dean Ryan admitted his Dragons needed to get better at controlling the ball after they lost out 23-8 to Benetton Rugby in the European Challenge Cup in Italy.

Three penalties from Sam Davies gave Dragons a one-point lead at the break at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

But the home side roared back to control proceedings in the second period to pull clear and leave Dragons empty-handed.

“We weren’t competitive for long enough to warrant any sort of result,” said the Director of Dragons Rugby.

“The second half, particularly, I don’t think we controlled the ball, either side of it.

“Breakdown-wise they killed any momentum, but we also couldn’t deal with high ball from them and couldn’t hold on for long enough to get into a game that brings the like of Taine (Basham) and Aaron (Wainwright) to the fore.

“Unless we solve those issues, we can’t impose a game that we are seeking to do.

“We have got to get better at controlling instances when we are in possession so we can get to a game we want to play,” he added.

“But we also need to be able to diffuse a game that’s coming at us in the air, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Despite the result, Ryan was encouraged by a number of his young players. And he highlighted the display of young tighthead prop Chris Coleman on his first season of the season – in a week when the 20-year-old signed a new contract at the region.

“I thought Chris Coleman was outstanding. We have always got to remember some of our youngsters,” said Ryan.

“Aneurin (Owen) again was right at the fore of our game and Ioan (Davies) hasn’t played for a huge amount of time. For Ioan to come into that situation was credit to him.

“Today the spotlight should be on Chris Coleman because I thought he was outstanding at tighthead.”

We have got to get better at controlling instances when we are in possession so we can get to a game we want to play...
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