Toby Faletau: Dragons need Rodney Parade approach on the road
LIONS star Toby Faletau has called for Newport Gwent Dragons take their abrasive Rodney Parade approach on their travels as they continue to hunt for an elusive away success.
The region were downed 26-10 by Bath in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday, their third successive defeat on the road in 2013/14 after futile trips to Edinburgh and Munster.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Dragons – on Friday they travel west to take on the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in the RaboDirect Pro12.
Number eight Faletau, who will feature before heading off to join up with Wales for the autumn internationals, was a try scorer when the Dragons recorded a shock win in Swansea in 2010 and would dearly love a repeat.
The recipe for that, according to the 22-year-old back row forward, is honest toil and the same tenacious attitude that has brought them four wins from four on their own turf.
“We’ve got to work on our away form and I don’t know why it’s so different,” he said. “The boys seem to turn up at Rodney Parade without any fear and just want to play for the crowd.
“We need to have the same attitude in our away games. It can be done; we’ve just got to keep going.”
Faletau scored the Dragons’ try at the Rec but saw a 10-10 half-time scoreline turn into a 26-10 defeat in the West Country.
It leaves them facing an uphill battle to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.
“We are disappointed after being in the game at half-time and letting it go,” said the number eight.
“We were right in it and looking to keep it going after the break but it didn’t quite happen.
“We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board, work and improve. There are more big games coming up and that’s all we can do.”
One again it was the Dragons’ set piece struggles that led to their downfall with Bath putting the pressure on through international props Anthony Perenise (Samoa), Davey Wilson (England), Paul James (Wales) and Juan Pablo Orlandi (Argentina).
“It all came down to a creaking first-phase, that’s plain for all to see,” said Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones. “We’ve got to back ourselves and keep working hard to improve.
“I can’t be too critical because these guys are young and these learning experiences are great.
“There were a lot of very disappointed players in our changing room because Bath just had too much power in the front five – that’s the game of rugby.
“We had people putting their heart and soul into it and it’s just disheartening that so many of Bath’s points came from our inability to relieve pressure.
“That meant we were playing catch-up rugby without a platform to launch from. It’s disappointing but Bath were the better side on the day.”
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