Coombs demands Dragons finish with a flourish

9:32am Friday 21st March 2014

CAPTAIN Andrew Coombs has called on Newport Gwent Dragons to finish the job by ending their much-improved season on a high.

The Rodney Parade region have already matched their 2012/13 tally of six wins and 28 points to sit seventh in the RaboDirect Pro12 table.

Victory against Connacht on Sunday would put them well on their way to improving on last term's 11th-place finish and would even keep alive their hopes of ending in the top half.

However, there is little to separate the teams that are not in playoff contention and the Dragons could end the weekend in 10th if results conspire against them.

With seven fixtures left to play, Wales lock Coombs has demanded that his charges sprint for the finish line.

"We can't let things slip now," said the skipper. "We had a very good start to the season and it's important to get back to that form and start winning games again.

"Beating Glasgow (24-23 in their last Rodney Parade game) was a massive and now we have to take another step and get the win against Connacht, who have got their game going and have won their last three.

"They've scored a few off the driving lineout and they have a good scrum. We've been working hard and need to counteract that to give our backs the ball they need to play. I'd like to think we have enough up front to hold them out."

Coombs returns to the Dragons squad after spending the last two months in Wales camp for the Six Nations.

The 29-year-old won three more caps, starting against Ireland and coming off the bench against France and England, but was frustrated by his lack of game time.

"The Six Nations was a mixed bag," he admitted. "I didn't get picked after the Ireland game and was fortunate to get called in through injuries (to Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris). That's not quite the way you want it to go but at Test level you take what you are given.

"I've come back to the Dragons fresh and want to finish the season strongly and play as many games as I can.

"The tour to South Africa is definitely my next target so hopefully I will be in good form to impress the Wales coaches."

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