Dragons can end Ospreys' playoff dreams - captain Coombs

Free Press Series: Andrew Coombs
 (1201030) Andrew Coombs (1201030)

CAPTAIN Andrew Coombs believes Newport Gwent Dragons have the firepower to resurrect their flagging season on Easter Sunday by ending the Ospreys' playoff dreams.

The 29-year-old lock will lead the Rodney Parade region out at the Millennium Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm) after recovering from a knee injury that forced him to sit out last weekend's 45-27 thumping by Treviso.

It is a clash between two sides in contrasting form – the Ospreys, fresh from a win against Leinster, are gunning for the playoffs while the Dragons are trying to halt an alarming slide.

They have had a nightmare 2014 that has yielded just seven points from a possible 40 in the RaboDirect Pro12, a shocking run of form that has seen them slide to 10th in the table with just the Italian pair of Treviso and Zebre beneath them.

It means that most will be heading to the Millennium Stadium expecting to see the Ospreys bag a bonus point win to keep the heat on playoff rivals Glasgow.

Coombs said: "There's no doubt that we are the underdogs and that's disappointing because at the start of the season we had snapped out of that. Instead we've fallen back and we have got that tag again.

"It's tough at the moment, we're on a very bad run and need to snap out of it because we feel that we have improved as a side this season.

"We've got three games left and have to have a crack at all three. It's down to the players to do that, there's nothing that the coaches can do because it is those of us on the field that are responsible for this form.

"Our mistakes are killing us and from 1 to 23 we have to be a hell of a lot better on Sunday but I believe that we can go out there and cause an upset."

Coombs will be slugging it out with Wales teammates Alun Wyn Jones and Ryan Jones in the second row on Sunday but insists that South Africa won't be on his mind.

Coombs said: "It's not about playing for tour places, it's not about where we are playing or the occasion, it's about getting a win that we desperately need.

"That won't be easy because the Ospreys are a quality side that are going for the players, but it's a great opportunity.

"They have the best pack in Wales and will look to put us under pressure but I'd like to think that we have improved up front and it's up to us to prove ourselves."

Comments (12)

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9:09am Wed 16 Apr 14

hazellboy says...

not again Andrew, as I said last week when you said we were going to do this and we were going to do that you would end up with egg on your face, I am all for being optimistic but keep it within the group, headlines like this will make you look daft again come Monday, as much as I would like to see Newport dragons win I predict a defeat of around 20 points
not again Andrew, as I said last week when you said we were going to do this and we were going to do that you would end up with egg on your face, I am all for being optimistic but keep it within the group, headlines like this will make you look daft again come Monday, as much as I would like to see Newport dragons win I predict a defeat of around 20 points hazellboy
  • Score: 12

10:00am Wed 16 Apr 14

Thor at the door says...

It's called media work, generation of interest is needed!
It's called media work, generation of interest is needed! Thor at the door
  • Score: 1

1:19pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

It's Newport Gwent Dragons Hazelboy, it's people with you Towney inward looking rubbish that prevents the Dragons getting better support. Just look at Cross Keys, Bedwas and of course Ebbw Vales to see how healthy rugby is in Gwent, for heavens sake stop this Towney small minded rubbish. The Dragons have the biggest geographical area than any other region, we need to get far more county wide support. On what Andrew said he is right as Captain to show encouragement for the team and he does acknowledge that itt will be tough, very tough but if you start from a no hope situation then that's just what you get, no hope. Now come on and show some spirit for heavens sake. Still waiting for an apology after the awful performance in Italy last week, but then we all live in hope don't we.
It's Newport Gwent Dragons Hazelboy, it's people with you Towney inward looking rubbish that prevents the Dragons getting better support. Just look at Cross Keys, Bedwas and of course Ebbw Vales to see how healthy rugby is in Gwent, for heavens sake stop this Towney small minded rubbish. The Dragons have the biggest geographical area than any other region, we need to get far more county wide support. On what Andrew said he is right as Captain to show encouragement for the team and he does acknowledge that itt will be tough, very tough but if you start from a no hope situation then that's just what you get, no hope. Now come on and show some spirit for heavens sake. Still waiting for an apology after the awful performance in Italy last week, but then we all live in hope don't we. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 2

1:38pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Oddjob says...

Oh no they can't!
Oh no they can't! Oddjob
  • Score: -1

3:48pm Wed 16 Apr 14

hazellboy says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
It's Newport Gwent Dragons Hazelboy, it's people with you Towney inward looking rubbish that prevents the Dragons getting better support. Just look at Cross Keys, Bedwas and of course Ebbw Vales to see how healthy rugby is in Gwent, for heavens sake stop this Towney small minded rubbish. The Dragons have the biggest geographical area than any other region, we need to get far more county wide support. On what Andrew said he is right as Captain to show encouragement for the team and he does acknowledge that itt will be tough, very tough but if you start from a no hope situation then that's just what you get, no hope. Now come on and show some spirit for heavens sake. Still waiting for an apology after the awful performance in Italy last week, but then we all live in hope don't we.
No Robert, its the poor rugby they serve up that prevents them getting better support, Also a class sportsman does his talking on the pitch I like coombsie as a player but this sort of headline is garbage, lets be realistic here, Also while we are on the name, it doesn't matter one iota what the team is called, as long as its played at Rodney parade 99 % of rugby fans outside of Newport wont travel to games full stop, I can use the name as Newport Dragons if I choose just as the coach calls them gwent dragons (his choice) But the reality is if you went back to black and amber and renamed the team Newport RFC the crowds would increase far more than it ever would under its present identity!
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: It's Newport Gwent Dragons Hazelboy, it's people with you Towney inward looking rubbish that prevents the Dragons getting better support. Just look at Cross Keys, Bedwas and of course Ebbw Vales to see how healthy rugby is in Gwent, for heavens sake stop this Towney small minded rubbish. The Dragons have the biggest geographical area than any other region, we need to get far more county wide support. On what Andrew said he is right as Captain to show encouragement for the team and he does acknowledge that itt will be tough, very tough but if you start from a no hope situation then that's just what you get, no hope. Now come on and show some spirit for heavens sake. Still waiting for an apology after the awful performance in Italy last week, but then we all live in hope don't we.[/p][/quote]No Robert, its the poor rugby they serve up that prevents them getting better support, Also a class sportsman does his talking on the pitch I like coombsie as a player but this sort of headline is garbage, lets be realistic here, Also while we are on the name, it doesn't matter one iota what the team is called, as long as its played at Rodney parade 99 % of rugby fans outside of Newport wont travel to games full stop, I can use the name as Newport Dragons if I choose just as the coach calls them gwent dragons (his choice) But the reality is if you went back to black and amber and renamed the team Newport RFC the crowds would increase far more than it ever would under its present identity! hazellboy
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Dai Trying says...

Oh no they won't.
Oh no they won't. Dai Trying
  • Score: -4

4:57pm Wed 16 Apr 14

topdocker says...

oh yes they would.
oh yes they would. topdocker
  • Score: 6

6:55pm Wed 16 Apr 14

blackandamber says...

I,m afaid your all right on this one, we are far to parochial in Wales. There is no shame in that indeed I for one applaud that point of view. Regional rugby was a dogs breakfast from day one. First of all there are only two regions Cardiff and Scarlets dissapearing up there own backsides not wishing to be regions parochial see. Warriors defunct in very quick time so that left a big hole for supporters in the Bridgend area straight away. The supporters of Pontypridd wont watch Cardiff why would they want to, theyv'e got a better team anyway. To the supporters of Ebbw, Keys and Bedwas if they changed the name to just Dragons tomorrow would we see bus loads of you turning up on Sunday I think not parochial see.
Anyway getting back the the original story, Andrew I think you are a very good player and captain and I know you have to say these things but we all know that unless the ref (hope it's Nigel he's more entertaining than the rugby sometimes) sends 14 of the hairsrays off we might be in with a chance.
I,m afaid your all right on this one, we are far to parochial in Wales. There is no shame in that indeed I for one applaud that point of view. Regional rugby was a dogs breakfast from day one. First of all there are only two regions Cardiff and Scarlets dissapearing up there own backsides not wishing to be regions parochial see. Warriors defunct in very quick time so that left a big hole for supporters in the Bridgend area straight away. The supporters of Pontypridd wont watch Cardiff why would they want to, theyv'e got a better team anyway. To the supporters of Ebbw, Keys and Bedwas if they changed the name to just Dragons tomorrow would we see bus loads of you turning up on Sunday I think not parochial see. Anyway getting back the the original story, Andrew I think you are a very good player and captain and I know you have to say these things but we all know that unless the ref (hope it's Nigel he's more entertaining than the rugby sometimes) sends 14 of the hairsrays off we might be in with a chance. blackandamber
  • Score: 2

7:42pm Wed 16 Apr 14

silurix says...

can't see it myself Andrew though I'll be delighted if you prove me wrong. Go for it anyway.
can't see it myself Andrew though I'll be delighted if you prove me wrong. Go for it anyway. silurix
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Wed 16 Apr 14

cdfdragon says...

Not a hope in hell. Sunday will just be the latest in a long line of embarrassments for us Dragons supporters.
Not a hope in hell. Sunday will just be the latest in a long line of embarrassments for us Dragons supporters. cdfdragon
  • Score: 1

11:04pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

With three games left I will predict the results, against the Ospreys a losing bonus point, the Scarlets a losing bonus point or a very narrow win and against Traviso a home win by about five points. But, I'll settle for three wins. Hope the Scarlets win on Sunday though.
With three games left I will predict the results, against the Ospreys a losing bonus point, the Scarlets a losing bonus point or a very narrow win and against Traviso a home win by about five points. But, I'll settle for three wins. Hope the Scarlets win on Sunday though. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

11:50pm Wed 16 Apr 14

b3talover says...

Hahahahahahaha!!!! Oh my God!!!!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!! My sides are splitting!!!!!! Good one Andrew, good one.
Hahahahahahaha!!!! Oh my God!!!!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!! My sides are splitting!!!!!! Good one Andrew, good one. b3talover
  • Score: -4

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