Rhys Thomas: Dragons aren't content with hard-earned bonuses
8:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Sport
HOOKER Rhys Thomas was in no mood to toast a gutsy display against Edinburgh, evidence of a cultural shift at Newport Gwent Dragons according to the hooker.
The 31-year-old former Wales international captained the region for the first time in the 16-13 RaboDirect Pro12 loss at Murrayfield.
Thomas cut a dejected figure on the final whistle after helplessly watching Harry Leonard slot a match-winning penalty with the final kick of the game.
The front row forward was a member of the Wales squad that got knocked out of the 2007 World Cup in the group stages by Fiji and suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Leicester in a Heineken Cup semi-final when with Cardiff Blues.
And he says last Friday's late defeat was right up there with his most infuriating moments.
"A draw would've been a fair reflection of the game," said Thomas, who signed from Wasps in the summer. "If it had been 13-13 I probably would have had a cheeky pint before bed rather than coffee in my room.
"I was gutted – one of the worst feelings I've ever had after a game – and we shot ourselves in the foot.
"The boys were devastated in the changing room whereas last year maybe there would have been some satisfaction at giving everything and coming away with a bonus point.
"Now the mentality is that it's just not good enough. We didn't get what we wanted and we won't be going into the Scarlets game in a happy mood."
Nonetheless it was a battling performance by the Dragons, who sit fifth in the table ahead of Friday's home encounter with the Scarlets.
They scrapped hard throughout and limited Edinburgh to a solitary try by Scotland wing Tim Visser, scored while Lewis Evans was in the sin bin.
It means the Dragons have shipped just 24 points in two fixtures, an average of 12 per game compared to last season's 27.
"That fight has traditionally been there with the Dragons and maybe Lyn and Kingsley (Jones, director of rugby and forwards coach) have brought a bit of belief with them," said Thomas.
"There has been change of mentality, we are not here to make the numbers up, we are here to win.
"We've put a lot of pressure on Ulster and Edinburgh and the defence has been great so far, hopefully that will continue against the Scarlets."
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