Dragons must get over mental barrier in Dublin
10:35am Thursday 13th February 2014 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards says the players needs to get over a mental barrier if they are to get anything from tomorrow’s trip to Leinster, writes Andrew Penman.
The Dragons have made ten trips to Dublin since 2004 and lost every match with an average score of 38-15 to the hosts.
And Edwards admits that they must approach tomorrow night’s clash at the Royal Dublin Society (kick-off 7.45pm) in a more positive frame of mind.
“I think in some ways it’s the way we approach games,” said Edwards.
“We play a certain style here that works very well and we do get results at home but I think it needs something different away from home.
“We need to put pressure on them and that’s maybe a thought process that we haven’t gone through in the past.
“You can’t shy away from the fact that when you continually don’t get the results on the road it does play on the mind.
“But we’re a new squad and a new coaching set-up now with a new emphasis on what we need to do on the road.
“Inside the camp expectations are high and that’s something we’re trying to improve – how much we expect from each other.
“Hopefully that will shine through now towards the end of the season.”
And Edwards pointed towards the Dragons superb 23-8 victory in Glasgow in November as a blueprint for this week.
“We beat Glasgow away and that was a major stepping stone for us in that we imposed Glasgow’s game on them,” he said.
“We controlled the whole game there and put it on to our terms so we’ve got to try to do the same in Dublin.
“That is probably the learning curve that we’ve been going through. We’ve now found a formula that does work and we’ve just got to nail that again and again.”
The Dragons are without Wales internationals Andrew Coombs and Toby Faletau this weekend, while Jack Dixon (foot), Tom Prydie (ankle) and Jonathan Evans (knee) also miss out due to injury.
Dragons squad: Rees, W.Evans, Burton, D.Jones, Smith, Robling, Hughes, Harries, D.Evans, Amos, Tovey, Leach; Williams, Coundley, Gustafson, Thomas, Chaparro, Buck, Way, Sidoli, Screech, Hill, Groves, Waters, I.Jones, Cudd