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Pat Leach: Dragons must not allow pack's graft to go to waste

Pat Leach beats Billy Holland (2777331)

Pat Leach beats Billy Holland (2777331)

First published in Sport

CENTRE Pat Leach hopes that Newport Gwent Dragons will reward the efforts of their improving pack by being more cut-throat against Treviso on Saturday.

The Rodney Parade region had the better of possession and territory against Edinburgh last Thursday only for their wastefulness to enable their clinical visitors to take the spoils.

The forwards produced a much better performance than the meek submission to Connacht in their previous home game yet all they got to show for their toil was a losing bonus point.

The Dragons are now without a win in four RaboDirect Pro12 games and have slipped down to ninth in the table.

"It was a very frustrating night and we lost it in the first 20 minutes when we didn't put the points on the bard for all of the pressure that we had," said Leach.

"It was a much better performance than Connacht but we didn't take our chances and that's so disappointing.

"Credit to the forwards because they had a great game and I was gutted that they didn't get the reward that their efforts deserved with a penalty try at the end.

"They have had a hard season but they worked so hard and had the better of Edinburgh's pack."

The Dragons are in danger of letting an improved season go to waste because of a hugely disappointing 2014.

Their shock win against title hopefuls Glasgow is their only win in seven games and they are now looking over their shoulders at Cardiff Blues.

The tenth-placed Arms Park outfit are just three points back and could leapfrog their Gwent rivals if they beat Edinburgh at Meggetland on Friday evening.

"We don't want to slip further down the table and it's in our own hands to finish strongly to maybe climb a couple of places," said Leach.

"There are four games left and we have to push on because it has been a much better season.

"The Blues are close and a massive aim of ours is to finish above them but, and I know it's a cliché, all we can do is focus on the game in front of us and Treviso away will be a big challenge."

The Dragons' record in Treviso does not make pretty reading – they have lost all three Pro12 encounters at the Stadio Monigo.

Last season they shipped five tries in a 32-12 hammering, in 2011/12 their line was crossed seven times in a 50-24 thrashing and in 2010/11 they were beaten 20-13 thanks to Kris Burton's late try.

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