9:02am Tuesday 15th October 2013
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards believes they can stun Bath on their own patch – as long as they don't have to live off scraps, writes Chris Kirwan.
The pair meet at the Rec on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) in a crunch clash in Pool Two of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
The Dragons got their European campaign up and running with an expected bonus point win against Italian minnows Mogliano while Bath notched an hard-earned 15-6 win at Bordeaux Begles.
It sets things up perfectly for a swift reunion of sides that met at Rodney Parade in pre-season.
Bath's strong scrum and powerful driving lineout meant that they bossed proceedings only to see their hosts burgle a 22-20 victory.
"I know all their coaches and I'm sure that game still hurts them," said Edwards.
"We bill pre-season fixtures as friendlies but I'm sure they didn't walk away thinking that.
"They've worked hard at having a big scrum and a driving lineout and they have got some serious individuals to score tries. Putting down that platform makes them dangerous opposition.
"But I believe we can score points. We just need more ball than them and we'll see how dangerous we can be. That's what turned the game in pre-season.
"Let's get as much possession as we can and enforce our game on them."
Edwards also believes the way that the Dragons dug deep for home RaboDirect Pro12 success in the opening weeks of the season will stand them in good stead.
"We've certainly come a long way (since the pre-season win) but we've still got a long way to go," he said.
"We won two big games against Ulster and the Scarlets which could have gone either way so mentally we've been in tough battles right through to 80 minutes and we're going to need that next week.
"It's great to play Saturday afternoon rugby in Bath. It's a great place to go and we're looking forward to that."
The Dragons have enjoyed a fine start to the season but have suffered disappointment on their travels.
They lost to a poor Edinburgh side with the last kick at Murrayfield and then under-performed against Munster in Cork.
Former Wales lock Robert Sidoli acknowledges the need to hit the heights of their Rodney Parade displays.
"We are ready to take our game to Bath," he said. "We got the win against them in pre-season but a lot from that game needed work.
"Habits have developed since then but be it Bath, Bordeaux or whoever, we need to be accurate and take our game away from home.
"We've had a few opportunities so far but haven't produced it, so it's all on us."
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