NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones hailed a valuable first hit-out after seeing his side beat Bristol 34-19.

The Rodney Parade region started their countdown to Connacht with a success at Clifton RFC thanks to tries by fly-half Jason Tovey, locks Rynard Landman and Cory Hill and prop Owen Evans.

The Dragons gave game time to 35 members of their squad and they gave their boss plenty of food for thought.

“The scoreboard was positive and, more importantly, the game was far better than a training session,” said Jones.

“As you’d expect in a first pre-season game there were errors from both teams but the boys have had a hit-out together and most of our squad got on the field.

“The game has shown that there is a lot to work on and that’s great. When you are coaching a team to defend a certain way and attack a certain way, they know what to expect when coming up against each other in training.

“It was a really good exercise for us and the biggest positive is that nobody had a bump.”

A Dragons development XV will take on Lydney this Sunday (kick-off 3pm) before the final warm-up against Aviva Premiership champions Northampton at Ebbw Vale’s Eugene Cross Park on Friday, August 29 (kick-off 7.30pm).

They start their Guinness Pro12 campaign in Galway on Saturday, September 6 (kick-off 5pm).